October 13, 2017 -- by Sarah Tuckowski
Recently, the Hue Jackson Foundation announced its partnership with the Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland. For the Hue Jackson Foundation, it is the belief that, in order for survivors to break the cycle and overcome various obstacles, secure housing is critical. Through this partnership, the Hue Jackson Survivors of Human Trafficking Residence will be built for female survivors as a place of support, comfort, and continued recovery. In an interview with Beau Hill, Executive Director at the Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland Harbor Light Complex, he discussed what this partnership means for survivors, the Salvation Army, and the city of Cleveland as a whole.
Q: Can you tell me a little bit about how this partnership came to be?
Hill: The Hue Jackson Foundation reached out to the Human Trafficking Coalition and basically said “we’re in Cleveland and we want to see what services there are for survivors of trafficking in the community.” The Foundation continued to reach out and [the partnership] came to fruition.
Q: Besides the tangible impact of building the Hue Jackson Survivors of Human Trafficking Residence, what are some other impacts of this partnership that you foresee?
Hill: We have an existing apartment unit for female survivors of human trafficking. However, it is not a very large space and doesn’t have much room for people to come in and provide services within that space. Through this partnership, we will have a larger space, shared offices [for law enforcement, healthcare, and social work professionals], and a larger living room area where community partners can come in and meet with groups as well as provide services.
Q: In your opinion, do you think this partnership is going to shape the energy around human trafficking in Cleveland? In other words, do you see this partnership bringing a much-needed awareness to this issue?
Hill: I see this partnership significantly increasing public awareness about [human trafficking]. A lot of people don’t believe human trafficking exists and aren’t even aware of it. It’s wonderful that the Jackson Family’s work is going to bring an overall awareness to this topic for the general public in Cleveland.
Q: What does the Hue Jackson Foundation mean to you?
Hill: Personally, it shows that a leader in a professional sports franchise has a vested interest, especially surrounding a challenging topic, in the community. Professionally, it means getting the word out about what the Salvation Army is doing and helps more people comprehend the work we are doing surrounding human trafficking.