Hundreds of women in Detroit have been abused, treated as possessions and traded for sex by human traffickers. Every city in Michigan has reported human trafficking incidents. But, many people don’t realize this is happening in our community.
Women who break free from abusers often struggle on the streets because they don’t have a safe place to go.
“As I learned more and more about how human trafficking is a problem in our state, I wanted to do something to help,” Kendra Corman, owner of H2H Consulting, said. “Creating a sanctuary for these women could give them a chance to feel safe and start over.”
Corman is one of 52 leaders selected by Leadership Oakland to spend a year working on leadership development, community engagement and social issues facing Oakland County. At the conclusion of the program, the leaders work together on a project designed to leave a legacy and improve the county.
On Saturday, Corman and the rest of the 2016-2017 Leadership Oakland group helped renovate a home that will serve as a shelter for human trafficking survivors.
Up to 16 trafficked women will be able to live in the home, located in an undisclosed location in Pontiac. Monarch Wings-Hope Against Trafficking owns the home and will provide the safety, services and support the women need to start over.
“The generosity of our sponsors and community leaders allowed us to expand the original scope of the project and clean up the neighborhood around the home. We were also able to do some landscaping and trash removal, which will benefit both the survivors and their neighbors,” Leadership Oakland Executive Director Nancy Maurer said.
Since 1990, Leadership Oakland has trained more than 1,200 leaders from corporate, civic and non-profit organizations. The group is currently accepting applications for the upcoming 2017-2018 session.
“We are looking for people who want to get to know Oakland County better, enhance their leadership skills and make a difference in our community,” Maurer said. “This is a program designed for people who want to get involved and stay involved in Oakland County’s future.”
Applications are due by May 31. Apply online at: leadershipoakland.com/apply-cornerstone
About Leadership Oakland
Leadership Oakland’s mission is to develop leadership skills, expose individuals to key issues impacting the region and enable participants to reach their full potential personally, professionally, and through public service to their communities. Sponsors for the Day of Service include Reverie, Stowe Cargo Systems, The Dobrusin Law Firm, PNC Bank, Blue Cross Blue Shield/Blue Care Network of Michigan, Warner Norcross & Judd, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, Flagstar Bank, HAP, EEI Global and Valiena A. Allison & Family.
Established in 1990, Leadership Oakland is a 501 (c)(3) organization focused on business and community leadership development. The organization provides a nine-month Cornerstone Program to participants from businesses, organizations and governmental agencies that are selected based on an application process. Leadership Oakland graduates are key business and community leaders serving as catalysts on boards of various organizations throughout the region.