On today’s 51%, we begin a two-part series on human trafficking and unhoused youth. I ride along with a street outreach coordinator for a youth shelter. And we’ll meet a woman who has walked the Underground Railroad to raise awareness about human trafficking.
Bri Phillips is the street outreach program manager for CAPTAIN Community Human Services based in Saratoga County, New York. CAPTAIN has programs to address youth homelessness, poverty, hunger, family dysfunction, and human trafficking. Phillips reaches out to people on the street who are homeless or in danger of being trafficked. We met up in Clifton Park for a ride-along in one of the Street Outreach vans. The back space is stocked with labeled plastic bins and drawers full of food, clothes, and hygiene kits.
“We are known as the boots on the ground of this organization,” Phillips said. “If people say, you know, where is your street outreach team? The answer is, I may not know at this moment, because they’re meeting the needs of the community. The van that we’re riding in right now, is so important, because it actually is stocked with Wi-Fi in the back. We have clothing, we have food, we have resources and referrals. And so our goal is that by having our phones on us, we go and meet the needs of clients right where they’re at.”