Living in Liberty restores dignity, freedom, and a new life to victims of commercial sexual exploitation by creating a safe, secure, loving, and nurturing community where healing occurs and a new life begins.
Living in Liberty (LIL) was started in 2012 by Elizabeth Echevarria. After a missionary from India visited her church and spoke about the prevalence of human trafficking in their country, she was inspired to serve women exiting a life of sex trafficking. After realizing that she could not just uproot her family from their home in Pittsburgh and take them to India to help victims of human trafficking, Elizabeth began to look within her home area. She was shocked to learn about the high volume of human trafficking victims just within the Pittsburgh area. She then attended ministry school and found out that there was a need for care services for these women. She took the first step to creating Living in Liberty by purchasing a home that has now come to house women who have been restored to freedom and independence.
Living in Liberty has street outreach to women in Wilkinsburg, Homewood, the North Side, Strip District, and Butler. They also have an online outreach in the Pittsburgh region to women who are being trafficked online. Living in Liberty reaches out to them via text message to let them know that help is available - many of them are incredulous to hear of their work, that someone actually cares. Living in Liberty seeks to build relationships with them so that when they are ready to start new lives they know to whom they can turn. Living in Liberty has a safe house that they can come to for up to a year where they can receive medical care, counseling, and job and life skill training, with the ultimate goal of independent living. Another branch of Living in Liberty is Awareness and Prevention. This branch reaches out to schools, groups, churches, etc. to educate about this heinous crime with the hope of preventing others from falling victim, and to seek volunteers and support.
A Growing Impact
In 2018, Living in Liberty’s Awareness and Prevention Team made 44 presentations during the fiscal year, tripling the number of people who are now educated about sex trafficking.
Living in Liberty’s outreach team opened a Care Center in 2016 in the Strip District.
The Homewood Care Center continues to provide weekly care during the fiscal year. A total of 55 women in 2018 from the Homewood community received some or all of the services provided.
In 2018, 400 hygiene bags were distributed to women and others on the streets who were in need.
To read more, visit: https://www.livinginliberty.org/