Saving Innocence: Breaking down barriers with HopSkipDrive
Written by HopSkipDrive
Saving Innocence is a nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles that is dedicated to rescuing and restoring child victims of sex trafficking through strategic partnerships with local law enforcement, social service providers, and schools, while mobilizing communities to prevent abuse and increase neighborhood safety.
HopSkipDrive recently partnered with Saving Innocence to help arrange safe, reliable transportation for some of the youth the organization serves. Learn more about Saving Innocence at https://savinginnocence.org.
Tell us about your organization.
Saving Innocence exists to serve, empower and advocate for victims of commercial exploitation in Los Angeles. Our advocates are available to respond to calls 24/7, and offer advocacy services upon recovery.
We have a foster family branch that trains and equips parents and caregivers to provide trauma-informed care to the kids we serve. We also provide basic needs, youth leadership programs and life-skills classes.
Another thing we do is arrange celebrations for such things as birthdays, graduations, holiday parties and baby showers to remind these kids that they are kids — and that they should be celebrated accordingly.
How is the lack of access to transportation a barrier for the youth you serve?
One of the biggest challenges we face is reliable transportation. The majority of the youth we serve are under 18, which means they are unable to utilize Lyft or Uber due to age constraints.
The youth we serve live within circumstances that are constantly changing. They also have limited resources so our advocates try to be available to drive them to and from appointments, celebrations, groups, etc.
We have a ratio of 1 advocate for every 15 to 20 youth, which makes it a challenge to provide adequate transportation. This sometimes means they don’t have access to enrichment opportunities or they arrive late due to the capacity limitations of our advocates.
How are you using, and benefitting from, HopSkipDrive?
With one of our current initiatives, Growth Group, our incredible advocates offer a space for youth to talk about self-care and emotions, along with different therapy techniques. With the help of HopSkipDrive, we’ve been able to offer rides to Growth Group for youth who would not have been able to attend otherwise.
We also use the transportation service for youth under 18 who participate in our SLAY program, which is our Survivor Leadership Academy for Youth. HopSkipDrive has helped limit the barriers for youth so they can attend these programs.
Interested in learning more about how HopSkipDrive can help your nonprofit organization with its unique transportation needs?