March 21, 2017

HomeAid Houston, a 501 c 3 charity of the Greater Houston Builders Association was honored to host Special Advisor to the Mayor on Human Trafficking Minal Patel Davis, at their February board meeting.  Davis presented key points from the City of Houston Anti-Human Trafficking Strategic Plan.

HomeAid continues to build their relationship with the City of Houston in their mission "to build new lives for homeless families and individuals though community outreach". This new information provided by Davis, is essential for HomeAid to consider as future projects are researched and developed.   

According to Davis, Polaris, a national human trafficking think tank in Washington D.C., and the national hotline for human trafficking victims, reports that in Texas between December 2007 and June 2015, out of 9,253 calls, Polaris confirmed 2,035 and of those, 717 of them were in Houston.  But because of the lack of awareness, how incidents are significantly under reported, and the underground nature of its economy, it is assumed the numbers are much higher.

Davis presented the top five objectives of the City's strategic plan.  Institutionalize the City of Houston's response; raise awareness and change the public's perception; coordinate victim services and engage in direct outreach; implement joint Houston Area Councils Human Trafficking (HAC-HT) initiatives and establish Houston as the national municipal model for anti-human trafficking efforts.

"Confronting human trafficking and  its aftermath is complicated," said Davis.  "It takes different kinds of stakeholders working together to ensure a comprehensive and successful outcome.  I am excited to share the Mayor’s Office plan with agencies like HomeAid and look forward to furthering our relationship."  

HomeAid Houston is one of 17 chapters of the national organization, HomeAid.  HomeAid Houston was established in 2003 to work with Houston homeless care providers to build and renovate transformational shelters. By partnering with GHBA builders, remodelers, developers and suppliers, HomeAid Houston is able to effectively multiply the impact of gifts provided by generous donors. 

Since 2003, HomeAid Houston has completed over 42 projects, adding $12.6 million in real estate to Houston’s homeless community and providing beds for more than 20,000 homeless men, women and children. 

 "Minal Davis's presentation was a tremendous opportunity for the HomeAid board to understand the scope of human trafficking in our own city," said Salty Thomason, president of HomeAid.  "These facts allow us to move forward in determining where HomeAid fits in this comprehensive effort."