Louisville non-profit opens drop-in center for victims of human trafficking
After years on the street, Summer Dickerson got help from Amy Leenerts, the founder of Free 2 Hope, a non-profit created to fight human trafficking in Kentucky.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- For years, Summer Dickerson sold her body for money and even had pimps. She has been a runaway, a stripper and even a prostitute.
"My story started at 15," Dickerson said. "I thought that the only thing anybody ever wanted from me was my body."
But after years on the street, Dickerson got help from Amy Leenerts, the founder of Free 2 Hope, a non-profit created to fight human trafficking in Kentucky.
"What woman would ever choose that," Leenerts said. "What we are doing right now, besides all of the education and outreach, is trying to have a safe place."
Last week, Leenerts opened a drop-in center on Barret Avenue for victims of human trafficking.
"We ask them ... 'Are you hungry? Do you have a medical condition? Is there something you need? Is there something you want?'" Leenerts said.
The goal is to get the women out of the lifestyle but in their own time.
"If that's what they choose, if that's what they want, it's never forced on anybody," Leenerts said.
Leenerts has also worked to educate the public about the signs of human trafficking and that victims, and especially pimps, don't always look like what you'd expect.
"It can be a mom, it can be a dad, it can be the guy next door," she said.
The Drop-In Center is open on from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays.
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