Here, at Elevate 61 International, we commonly refer to male survivors of human trafficking as Fellows. This term is more commonly used in both medical and educational institutions but is relevant here.
It is defined as; a person in the same position or otherwise associated with another.
This organization takes pride in elevating men out of slavery and into a new life of freedom, integrity, and honor. Therefore, Fellows are treated with honor and respect from day one.
During the Freedom Stage, Fellows are rescued with the collaboration of law enforcement and Elevate 61 International’s supportive assistance. Fellows are assessed to determine the need for medical care which becomes priority at this time. They will be transported to a medical provider, if that is determined, or to the safehouse for rest. The safehouse provides Fellows with a bed, clothing, a shower, and healthy meals. The Freedom Stage is designed to create a safe place to:
· evaluate the Fellow
· allow the opportunity for family interaction/contact
· provide details to authorities regarding their exploiter
· receive any medical care and/or therapeutic assistance
The Freedom Stage is designed to establish an opportunity for Fellows to be in a safe place where they can stop, take a breath, and figure-out the next step in their journey to normality.
If Fellows meet the basic requirements and are willing to participate, then they are able to enter the Stability Stage. The Stability Stage is a 9 month residential program where Fellows have a regular schedule of beneficial activities which will include:
· appointments with a healthcare provider – for PTSD, depression, and/or anxiety
· individual and group counseling sessions
· development of short-term and long-term goals along with coping skills
· lessons regarding purpose, wisdom, and forgiveness
· voluntary Bible reading and related lessons
· daily physical fitness activities and nutrition awareness
· General Education Diploma (GED) preparation
· job interview training
· learning money management skills
Elevate 61 International is determined to see men set free from slavery and become empowered individuals who are able to make a real difference in the world around them. In order to accomplish this goal, it is imperative to implement a strategic rehabilitation model that is focused on wellness.
Elevate 61 International has a complete rehabilitation program, as previously indicated, and includes the following framework.
· Basic Life Skills – An important foundation of the entire program is centered on men learning basic life skills by living together. Fellows will be mentored, coached, counseled, and encouraged to function with skills such as honor, reliability, home management, personal hygiene, and cooperation. There will also be a focus on education, career choices, and career training, equipping the men to acquire the skills necessary to be successful after graduating the program. Any man without a High School diploma or GED will attend GED classes and will pass the GED test before graduating from Elevate 61 International.
· Job Training – A planned schedule of job related activities will create beneficial skills for any individual but this will also be a therapeutic approach for healing. In this program, Fellows will learn how to create a product that is of use to the general public and learn a new job skill which could be valuable to their long-term success. Jelly-making, soap-making, candle-making, and even recycled wine bottle lighting are all options for the Fellows within the program.
· Counseling – Counselors will work with Fellows to identify the root causes for any destructive behavior, to help them take responsibility, and make choices to improve. Men will set goals and work towards those goals with accountability to the counselor. Counselors will give input to assist with providing care based-on each man’s needs. Healthcare providers, Christian counselors, and/or knowledgeable and experienced persons will be utilized to accomplish the goals of the organization.
· Gateway Freedom – Voluntarily, this program will take Fellows through truths that are designed to help them become free in Christ. These truths will identify and remove obstacles hindering successful living. This will be a combination of classes and one-on-one mentoring sessions that will take place weekly throughout the program. It is developed by Gateway Church in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. (http://gatewaypeople.com/ministries/freedom)
· Financial Fitness – This program will include weekly instruction from the Dave Ramsey course Financial Peace University. The goal is to educate and prepare men to be good stewards of money. An individual plan for paying-off debt, managing spending, and accumulating savings will be developed. This individualized plan will be closely monitored and include banking, shopping, and investment education. (https://www.daveramsey.com/fpu)
· Physical Fitness – This program will include a schedule for Fellows weight-lifting along with cardiovascular exercises. If their health permits, then a Trainer will establish a personalized fitness program for each individual. This will include, and be in conjunction with, our Nutrition Training program which is addressed below. A complete set of dumbbells, jump ropes, and a treadmill will be included in this program. However, many exercises will be performed by leveraging the individuals body weight, like with pushups.
· D&A Recovery Program – The Nedley Depression and Anxiety Recovery Program TM is a video and workbook series that puts people on the path to recovery from depression and anxiety authored by Neil Nedley, M.D. This eight-part series includes informative video lectures and a workbook which will help put one’s newfound knowledge into action on mental health and wellness, cognitive behavioral therapy, lifestyle, nutrition, and fitness. This program has helped over 5,000 documented participants from numerous countries achieve improved mental health. (http://nedleyhealthsolutions.com/)
· Nutrition Training – A nutrition oriented person will oversee all of the meal planning and meal preparations as the men share the duties of planning, cooking, and cleaning. There will be a focus on healthy and clean eating.
· Volunteering – A spirit of volunteering will be fostered throughout the entire program, creating a culture of service as we partner with an overabundance of other non-profits in Houston. Volunteering will help men discover a purpose larger than themselves, bringing out leadership qualities that can change their family, city, and world.
· Connection – Many opportunities will be provided for the men to connect with positive people, churches, organizations, and businesses outside the walls of Elevate 61 International. Throughout their stay, the men will have the opportunity to experience various activities in the community such as worship services, prayer times, conferences, events, and much more. This ensures that each person will have a support system in place at the end of the program.
· Bible Studies – Voluntarily, Fellows will study teachings in the areas of forgiveness, setting boundaries, and discovering true freedom by identifying spiritual strongholds and removing obstacles that hinder their lives. Many resources will be used from world renown teachers such as Francis Chan and David Platt.
Stepping Up® – In this program, men will discover what it means to step up and live a courageous life. Stepping Up® defines courage throughout the five stages of manhood and commissions men to honestly evaluate where they stand in their duties of masculinity. A workbook correlates to the video sessions. https://shop.familylife.com/t-fl-steppingup.aspx