In observance of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we speak with Sharon Robbins is a survivor, public speaker, public educator, spiritual life coach and founder of Jubilee Havens, an organization that provides a safe haven for human trafficking victims while bringing a holistic approach to healing.
WHAT DOES JUBILEE HAVENS DO?
Jubilee Havens provides a safe haven for the victim-survivors of sex trafficking. We do this through events, fundraising, speaking engagements and awareness of this crime against humanity. This is happening right in our own neighborhoods and communities.
Alongside our partnerships inside and outside of the state of Mississippi, we provide a wellness approach to victims’ healing and restoration. We are not alone in this, and we work together with law enforcement and other service providers to attain a greater success rate in what we do.
WHEN AND WHY WAS JUBILEE HAVENS FOUNDED?
Jubilee Havens’ establishment as a nonprofit was set in motion in 2016. For the prior five years, I was advocating, educating and bringing awareness to the Mississippi Gulf Coast while investigating what Mississippi did and did not have. What I learned is that Mississippi had nowhere to place victim survivors, and then I understood my vision. I am a survivor of human trafficking and was sold right here on the Gulf Coast when I was 19. I had no idea that 40 years later, this would come into fruition with me telling my story to others as a survivor. I let them know how crucial their support is, how much they needed to be educated and how much they needed to educate their children to ensure they wouldn’t become the next victim survivors we are trying to help.
WHAT IMPACT HAS JUBILEE HAVENS MADE IN THE COMMUNITY?
We can assist and provide services to victim-survivors through our 24-hour local crisis line and decal /business cards, along with the National Human Trafficking hotline. Five teams deliver our crisis line decals to businesses along the Gulf Coast around the 1-10 corridors, Highway 90 and from the state lines of Alabama to Louisiana. In addition, we opened our own emergency safe haven in May 2022.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE GREATEST THING YOU’VE LEARNED OR GAINED BY BEING PART OF JUBILEE HAVENS?
We have learned to be flexible while shifting gears as unexpected situations occur. Most im- portantly, we’ve learned to be humbler and more aware of the need for trauma-informed care to help these women as unique individuals with their past and present perceptions of wellness and trust.
WHAT’S NEW AND EXCITING WITH JUBILEE HAVENS THAT YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE?
We are excited and thankful for all our wonderful volunteers and supporters who sacrifice their time, effort and money to help make a difference for our cause. Also, we’re excited to announce our newest fundraiser coming up this month — a “dinner theater” to engage legacy and monthly donors to help keep our mission going.