For over ten years, Polaris has provided direct services to more than 700 survivors of human trafficking to help them rebuild their lives. Our Client Services program in Washington, D.C. works with both U.S. and foreign-born survivors of both sex and labor trafficking, including men and women, adults and children, and individuals who identify as LGBTQ. Polaris provides comprehensive clinical case management and counseling to ease the effects of trauma, support groups, educational and enrichment programs, access to housing, and job readiness assistance.
How We Help
Polaris partners with local social services providers to offer holistic care to human trafficking victims and survivors in D.C., Northern Virginia, and Maryland. Polaris also works in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C., Maryland, and Northern Virginia, local police departments, and federal government agencies to better address the needs of potential victims. In addition, Polaris is an active member of the D.C. Human Trafficking Task Force, the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force, and the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force.
Crisis Response Team
Polaris provides limited 24-hour crisis response in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Teams provide emotional support, legal advocacy, emergency housing coordination, transportation assistance, and critical social services support.
Polaris provides individual and group therapy for victims of human trafficking. Our staff work with clients on an individual basis using a variety of therapeutic modalities based on the needs and comfort level of the individual. We also work with survivors in groups for group counseling, allowing clients to support each other in the healing process.
We work closely with every Polaris client to identify their individual needs and goals and to create a custom plan to address these needs holistically. Clients meet regularly with a case manager to receive support to achieve these goals, and to modify their plans as needs change. A case manager may help a client find food and clothing, obtain government benefits, receive health services, access classes, or even support them through criminal justice proceedings against their trafficker. Recently, an independent external evaluation of Polaris's services found that clients routinely mentioned that our Client Services team feels like family.
Empowerment and Enrichment Workshops
We hold empowerment and life skills workshops weekly. They are open to all survivors of human trafficking. These groups provide a positive and supportive environment for clients to discuss topics such as relationships, careers, transitions, as well as to attend skill building workshops on topics like budgeting, nutrition, exercise, or goal setting.
Our Washington, D.C. office offers a drop-in center for current clients in the local area. This center provides a safe and welcoming place for clients where they can feel at home. Clients can come to the office without an appointment to use the computers, use the phone to call potential employers, receive donated clothing and household items, eat and interact with staff and other clients, practice language skills, receive emotional support, or simply rest and relax.