Frequently Asked Questions

How do trafficked women reach The Harbor?  Do you rescue them?

NSI is not a rescue organization.  Survivors are referred to us through many channels:

·       Emergency shelters such as The Salvation Army and YWCA, among others
·       The National Trafficking Sheltered Alliance (NTSA)
·       Federal, state, and local law enforcement, including Homeland Security
·       Survivors can also contact us directly by phone, email, text or website

 Are the women at The Harbor from Lancaster County?

Because survivors live in constant fear of their traffickers, we work with the NTSA and our other partners to place local women at out-of-state restoration homes; residents of The Harbor come to us from across the United States.  This arrangement helps to ensure the safety and security of survivors, their families, and the staff and volunteers of NSI and other shelters.

 Why do survivors need "restoration homes" like The Harbor?

Emergency and other temporary shelters are not set up to address the complex needs of trafficking survivors.  At The Harbor, each woman is assessed at program entry, and at regular intervals, and provided options for treatment, therapy, education, and job-skills training based on her individual needs and trauma levels.  

In general, what do survivors need so they don't return to "the Life"?

·       Drug and alcohol treatment

·       Complex-trauma therapy 

·       Counseling and mental-health support

·       Valid identification

·       Education and job-skills

·       Life-skills, such as financial and household management 

·       Driver's license

·       Clean criminal-record

·       Appropriate employment and adequate wages

·       Safe, affordable housing

·       Bank account

·       Peer and community support

While our restoration program addresses these needs, it can be daunting for sex-trafficking survivors to re-enter the community.  That is why NSI's “Next Steps project is so important:  It will provide on-site, transitional living-space for residents who have completed the program and are ready for the next phase of their healing journey.  Survivors need additional time, support, and mentoring as they take their first steps toward fully integrating back into the community.

 How do residents spend their time at The Harbor?

Examples of daily activities include group meals, individual and group therapy, chores, education and training, devotions, and recreation and free-time.  The program provides structure, but is also tailored to address each woman’s specific needs.

 Can residents voluntarily withdraw from the program?

Once accepted into The Harbor, residents are required to fully participate in the restoration program and activities.  While our vision is for each woman to complete the program and achieve her personal and career goals, residents are free to withdraw from the program at any time.  In such cases, NSI attempts to help the survivor relocate to a safe environment; ultimately, however, the decision on where to go, and what to do, after leaving The Harbor is the survivor's.