Our Anti-Trafficking Program gives survivors the chance to speak to a compassionate, expert case manager like Ileana Taylor who dedicates her time to helping trafficking survivors obtain vital resources and find hope and safety.
January 28, 2016
Helping over 180 clients and counseling more than 1, 000 other individuals affected by trafficking last year, Safe Horizon’s Anti-Trafficking Program (ATP) is spearheading the charge against human trafficking in and around New York City.
At ATP, we give survivors the chance to speak to a compassionate, expert case manager. Each case manager personally guides their client in obtaining critical resources to get back on their feet. Ileana Taylor is one of these inspirational ATP staff members and has been advocating for trafficking survivors as a case manager since 1999.
Ileana’s Role as a Case Manager
Although a typical day for Ileana consists of a variety of tasks, she dedicates most of her time to helping trafficking survivors navigate complex systems to obtain vital resources and find hope and safety. This ranges from connecting clients to resources such as emergency housing to accompanying them to appointments at public benefit offices and federal agencies.
Ileana also supports her clients work through their legal issues with ATP’s onsite staff attorneys and writes support letters for T-Visa applications. A T-Visa allows survivor of human trafficking to stay and work in the U.S. Without these vital documents, they could experience further violence when returning to their native home.
ATP case managers like Ileana manage 35-40 cases per year and play a crucial role in helping survivors of human trafficking rebuild their lives.
Inspired to Help Human Trafficking Survivors
Ileana became passionate about fighting for human rights while living through a period of unrest in her native Guatemala. Inspired by people who have overcome trafficking, she decided to dedicate her career to helping more people affected by this horrendous crime.
She moved to the United States to pursue a better life. After earning her Associates in Mental Health from Warwick Community College, Ileana began working at ATP as a case manager. She later went on to receive both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Adelphi University in addition to a certificate from New York University in Trauma Counseling.
Case managers like Ileana make an impact in the lives of their clients by linking them to resources they need including:
- Legal help
- Clothing, housing, and education
- Medical and mental health services
- Anything necessary to help them achieve their goals
“When people who have experienced human trafficking come in they feel at a loss, but by the end of the meeting, they become empowered,” Ileana explains.
Ileana loves giving the clients a new sense of hope while providing them with support. She is grateful for the opportunity to be able to help survivors of human trafficking “regain their dignity and humanity.”
Ileana also wants to raise awareness of the issue and show how, “trafficking can and does happen everywhere,” so we can be more conscious of it and therefore put an end to it.