No Boundaries, Salvation Army have outreach program for Oklahoma City prostitutes

As a way to reach prostitutes who work in south Oklahoma City, volunteers plan to take hot chocolate in a mobile canteen truck to those on the streets. The Salvation Army and a group called No Boundaries are trying to offer a better way of life to prostitutes, many who are victims of human trafficking.
BY ROBERT MEDLEY rmedley@opubco.com Published: January 23, 2012

Theresa Briscoe drives S Robinson Avenue, a street known for prostitutes, gangs and drugs.

She sees a woman walking along the street and pulls up to her, rolling down her window.

“Hi. We just want you to know that Jesus loves you,” Briscoe says.

It's a line she uses to start up a conversation.

She's trying to break the ice and perhaps get the woman thinking about leaving the streets.

Briscoe knows what she is talking about.

She was once a homeless prostitute.

Now she is street outreach coordinator for No Boundaries, a group dedicated to helping victims of human trafficking.

The group is partnering with the Salvation Army in a program to be launched next month to offer these women counseling, shelter, job training and even hot chocolate from a canteen truck.

Lori Basey, No Boundaries president, has worked on the problem of human trafficking in the Congo and now wants to focus on south Oklahoma City.

“The stories we're hearing locally are as bad as some of the stories globally,” Basey said.

Basey said Oklahoma City's location in the center of the United States at the intersection of Interstate 40 and Interstate 35 also puts the city at a crossroads for human trafficking.

‘Stilettos to Sneakers'

Maj. Leisa Hall, Salvation Army divisional secretary for women's ministries, said there are women who do not know there are other ways to survive.

The Salvation Army's work to reach victims of human trafficking and children who are prostituted on the streets dates to the 1880s on the streets of London.

Hall is on an FBI committee that studies human trafficking.

At a meeting in November, she met No Boundaries justice coordinator Debi Mangrum, and plans to tackle the problem in Oklahoma City.



How to help

Project Hope

People who want to volunteer or find out more about Project Hope for prostitutes can attend the next meeting of No Boundaries and the Salvation Army, 6:30 p.m. Feb. 10, at the Salvation Army, 2808 SE 44. Anyone who wants to make a donation to No Boundaries International based in Edmond can go online to nbint.org. Donations can be mailed to 49 E 15 St., Edmond, OK 73013.

‘Stilettos to Sneakers'

Anyone wanting to donate to the Salvation Army effort to help “Stilettos to Sneakers,” can send donations to Salvation Army Metropolitan Area Command, P.O. Box 2095, Oklahoma City, OK 73101. Checks can be made payable to the Salvation Army with a memo “sex trafficking outreach,” written on the check. For more information, go to salvationarmyokcac.org, or call 246-1100.

Source: No Boundaries, Salvation Army

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