NORTH STAR HISTORY
North Star Initiative began in 2009 as a grass roots movement known as Lancaster Initiative aGainst Human Trafficking (L.I.G.H.T.), formed by Christians with a heart to combat modern day slavery.
During this time, Founder Jen Sensenig noticed signs that led her to believe that women in Lancaster, PA were being used for sexual services just miles from her home. Jen worked for the next year with an organized crime unit gathering observations based on her interaction with local women, their traffickers, and their johns. The investigations revealed that the women were involved in a large prostitution ring that extended to several states along the East Coast. Jen's ongoing interaction with one of the women in a massage spa was the catalyst for forming North Star Initiative.
"That was the point that human trafficking now had a face and name for me... it was no longer a statistic. Ever since, it has become about 'restoring the one.'"
— Jen Sensenig
The women were "freed" from the prostitution ring and were not prosecuted or deported. However, the debate began if these women were willing prostitutes or sex trafficked victims in need of proper holistic support and restoration. A series of events caused Jen to become aware that there was an enormous gap between trafficking survivors and the restoration aftercare they need.
L.I.G.H.T. then transformed into North Star Initiative, shifting its focus to the restoration and aftercare of trafficked persons with the vision of opening Lancaster County's first restoration home, The Harbor.
North Star Initiative received its 501(c)3 non-profit tax-exempt status In January 2013, and is a founding member of the Lancaster Anti-Trafficking Network (LATN.)
WHY ARE WE CALLED NORTH STAR INITIATIVE?
For centuries, the North Star, also known as Polaris, was the guiding light of hope for thousands of African slaves as they traveled north to freedom.
It is a fixed visual beacon, aligned with the Earth's axis of rotation directly above the North Pole. While the apparent position of other stars changes throughout the night, the North Star's position remains fixed.
At North Star Initiative, we see Jesus as our fixed point and guiding light to freedom.
Today, there are more slaves in the world than in the four centuries of the African slave trade. Where the North Star brought hope and a point of navigation toward freedom for brave men, women, and children in the tumultuous South, we at North Star Initiative desire to offer hope, restoration, and a bright beacon of freedom for those in slavery today.
North Star Initiative's core values are developed for all those we serve, including survivors, volunteers, staff, partners, vendors, and the community that surrounds us.
We are a faith-based organization that seeks to accomplish its mission through the love and hope that is found in a relationship with Jesus Christ. Regardless of religious preference, we will love and accept each and every individual.
We will serve others before ourselves with love, authenticity, humility and a sacrificial attitude.
INDIVIDUAL WORTH AND CARE:
We believe that every individual has dignity and value. We are committed to restoring each individual to a full life through intentional relationships.
We are diligent in protecting and utilizing the gifts that have been entrusted to us with integrity to create a safe environment for those we serve.
"Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; You will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings," — Isaiah 58:12