Calls for help to Idaho's Anti-Trafficking Coalition have quadrupled; They're expanding their Crisis and Resource Hotline

Posted at 9:28 PM, Aug 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-31 23:28:34-04

IDAHO — Since the pandemic started, Idaho's Anti-Trafficking Coalition has seen an increase in calls for help to their Hotline.

"Once COVID-19 hit, we started to see an increase, and that was slower at first, after that, we have been documenting our calls, and they have nearly quadrupled," said Executive Director Idaho Anti-Trafficking Coalition, Jennifer Zielinski.

With the increasing need for help and resources, the coalition is launching its new Crisis and Resource Hotline.

"Those who are at risk we recognize the need to be able to provide them with that ongoing care, resources, information, and just to ensure that we are assisting and meeting those needs," said Zielinski.

Anyone in Idaho can use the Hotline, whether you need emergency assistance or are looking for specific resources.

"So anything that is a dire immediate need," she said. "That can look like transportation assistance linked to food banks or shelters, transition housing, in-patient care, substance abuse care, anything that is an emergency need."

The Coalitions case management then provides the caller with a case plan or further resources available to them in their area.

"That allows for an immediate response or an ongoing support service that we will provide," said Zielinski.

The Hotline is entirely run by volunteers that have gone through the Coalitions orientation and Specialized Emergency Training to make sure they can correctly serve victims and survivors of human trafficking.

They will be training the volunteers in crisis response, crisis intake, referral processes, and national and statewide resources.

"We want to make sure those who are victims or survivors of human trafficking have access to appropriate services and support," she said. "Services that are designed to specifically honor and provide through a sense of dignity and support."

To learn more about volunteering at the Idaho ATC, click here.

To learn more about human trafficking in Idaho, click here.

If you or someone you know needs help, the Crisis Hotline number is (208)-630-6601 and press 9.