Newsmakers: Brooklyn Park Native Spearheads Effort to Fight Human Trafficking
Stephanie Page grew up in Brooklyn Park and is on a mission to fight human trafficking with her nonprofit the Stories Foundation that she started in 2012.
“We help people understand what human trafficking is, here in our community and then engage them to decrease human trafficking here,” said Page. “Then, we come alongside survivors and those most vulnerable to have restorative options for the future.”
Page says trafficking can and does happen every where.
“We know that the average age of someone trafficked here in the cities or suburbs is 14 years old. We know that within 48 hours of a youth being homeless, they are solicited to have sex for something of value and that’s right here in our communities,” said Page. “A trafficker would see that vulnerability in somebody and instead of coming along and covering it with a healthy relationship, like we would normally happen. They are covering that vulnerability with a purpose of earning trust and later exploiting that person, so it’s a huge problem here in the suburbs.”
Page says her organization seeks to prevent trafficking by empowering communities and everyday people.
“We really need to create safe communities for people to go into, for people who do not have community, who need support,” said Page.
Stories Foundation is building a “give-back” cafe in Ramsey to help them doing awareness work across the northern suburbs. They will be holding a 5k as a fundraiser for it on July 30 at Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove. To learn more, click here.