When folks think about the issue of Human Trafficking, they think of it as an issue that takes place "away" or "out of state". The sad reality is that it is here in Maine, and even right here in Penobscot County.

The concept of human trafficking.
saiyood
loading...

The good news is, there's a local agency that offers support to victims of Human Trafficking, Exploitation, or Sexual Domestic Abuse.

Carey Nason, the Executive Director of the St. Andre Home Agency and the Courage Lives program, says the work they are doing around Courage Lives is providing support and services to these folks affected by Human Trafficking, and the need is certainly right here in our area.

Courage Lives 3, Carey Nason
Courage Lives 3, Carey Nason
loading...

"It's here and in the surrounding areas, too. Our services are state-wide, but our main office is here in Bangor. And obviously being based in Bangor, we hear from a lot of folks in the Bangor area. "

Nason says the individuals they work with through the Courage Lives program often come to them with varying levels of need.

Sad, bullied or abused boy crying sitting on stairs
Ben_Gingell
loading...

"So if someone has experienced trafficking or has been exploited, they often don't have their own things. If someone hasn't had a safe place to live it means there's no safe place they can keep their belongings. It may be that someone really doesn't have clothing. We see people who simply just don't have resources and their lives have been controlled in a way, or affected in a way that they haven't been able to get access to resources. So when we connect with them, that's where we start. We start with what are the things that someone has, and what is it that they might need, we take a very positive approach. What are the good things that someone has going for them and how can we build upon that? "

Courage Lives 4, Carey Nason
Courage Lives 4, Carey Nason
loading...

Nason says the organization provides everything from essential and the most basic of things like food and clothes, to more complex services such as providing these individuals transitioning out of such situations with options for medical and mental health treatments.

"We have what we call the Empowerment Pantry, which is like your kitchen pantry. It's available on an urgent need basis, where someone can come in and pick up items. You can get food, you can get baby items and pet items. We also have it stocked with toiletries and hygiene products."

Courage Lives 7, Carey Nason
Courage Lives 7, Carey Nason
loading...

"And then we have the Courage Clothing Closet where people can come in and shop for themselves for their family members. We have clothing in a wide variety of sizes and styles, all the way from infants through adults."

Courage Lives 6, Carey Nason
Courage Lives 6, Carey Nason
loading...

"We also provide mental health and emotional support services and referrals for things like transportation."

Courage Lives 2, Carey Nason
Courage Lives 2, Carey Nason
loading...

While the St. Andre Home Agency has been around for over 80 years, the Courage Lives Program is only about 8 years old. Getting the word out about what they do plays a key role in what they are able to do, but so does community support. And you can help.

Courage Lives 1, Carey Nason
Courage Lives 1, Carey Nason
loading...

Nason says they are always looking for donations of food, clothing, and hygiene items to provide for the people they work with.

Get our free mobile app

"We're accepting donations now for the Empowerment Pantry. You know, this is back-to-school time so we're accepting donations to do that. Non perishables are great. Things that are kind of quick and easy to eat, or to heat and eat are wonderful. Along with hygiene products."

Nason says if you do want to make a donation, all you need to do is call their office at (207) 282-3351 to schedule a drop-off time.

LOOK: What major laws were passed the year you were born?

Data for this list was acquired from trusted online sources and news outlets. Read on to discover what major law was passed the year you were born and learn its name, the vote count (where relevant), and its impact and significance.

LOOK: What major laws were passed the year you were born?

Data for this list was acquired from trusted online sources and news outlets. Read on to discover what major law was passed the year you were born and learn its name, the vote count (where relevant), and its impact and significance.

LOOK: The 50 best small towns to raise a family in the U.S.

Looking for the best small towns to raise a family? Stacker compiled this list of the top 50 small towns in the United States using 2023 data from Niche.

More From WWMJ Ellsworth Maine