Love’s Arm has served women survivors of trafficking, prostitution, and addiction more than 270 times this year, but COVID-19 has depleted their resources.
The nonprofit organization is asking the community for coats, gloves, and monetary donations to continue its street outreach program in the winter. Through the program, volunteers engage and nurture relationships with survivors working in street prostitution along the I-75 corridor, offering prayers, hygiene supplies, food, water, and clothing, as well as transitional resources.
Chattanooga’s location along the interstate corridor to Nashville and Atlanta makes it a hub for human trafficking, and the north Georgia I-75 corridor is listed with the U.S. State Department as being one of the three most heavily human trafficked regions in the nation.
Executive Director of Love’s Arm, Mimi Nikkel, has spent 15 years fighting prostitution in Chattanooga. She says volunteers conduct up to 50 street outreaches per year, helping provide resources to more than 230 women.
“Our street outreach program allows these women survivors to have a connection with healthy people who don’t want to hurt them. Sometimes it’s the only healthy contact and connection they’ll have,” said Nikkel.
Love’s Arm was founded in 2005 while Nikkel was teaching at a local detention facility. The organization sends volunteers to Chattanooga and North Georgia to engage and foster relationships in the streets, strip clubs, jails, and motels with women survivors of trafficking, prostitution, and addiction.
Many of the volunteers are thriving survivors themselves, offering a level of support and encouragement few else can. The foundations of these relationships are unconditional love, continual prayer, and grace-filled wisdom.
Love’s Arm operates a 24/7 Helpline listed on Polaris Human Trafficking Hotline and Rahab’s Rest, a two-year holistic recovery home for women survivors desiring a safe, therapeutic home in which to heal and grow.
Love’s Arm is asking for warm weather clothing donations like coats, gloves, hats, and scarves in addition to monetary donations. Donate on lovesarmoutreach.org today through December 15, and donations will be matched by a generous donor up to $25,000.