BRIDGING FREEDOM INC

Tampa, FL   |  www.bridgingfreedom.org

Mission

The mission of Bridging Freedom is to combat Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking by bringing restoration to those who are rescued and prevention to those we reach with our message.

Ruling year info

2012

President

Laura Hamilton

Main address

PO Box 18984

Tampa, FL 33679 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

27-5467980

NTEE code info

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Housing Rehabilitation (L25)

Rape Victim Services (F42)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Bridging Freedom has been bringing awareness to the issue of child-sex trafficking throughout Tampa Bay and to Florida legislators since 2011. The community needs to understand just how close to home this hidden crime is that targets our 12 year old girls. Human trafficking is soon to be the number one crime. We, as a community, need to understand that these girls are victims and not willing participants. They are lured, tricked and taken and can not escape the treats against them. We need to understand that it is extremely expensive to bring healing to girls who have developed trauma bonding

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Bridging Freedom

The mission of Bridging Freedom is to combat Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking by: 1) bringing restoration to those who are rescued, and 2) prevention to those we reach with our message.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Bridging Freedom's goals are to provide: 1) Community awareness of child-sex trafficking. 2) Education for victim prevention. 3) A therapeutic safe home campus that provides long-term, comprehensive survivor care for victims of child sex-trafficking.

1) Bridging Freedom has been bringing awareness of child-sex trafficking throughout Tampa Bay and to Florida legislators since 2011. The community needs to understand just how close to home this hidden crime is that targets our 12 year old girls. Human trafficking is soon to be the number one crime. We, as a community, need to understand that these girls are victims and not willing participants. They are lured, tricked and taken and can not escape the treats against them. We need to understand that it is extremely expensive to bring healing to girls who have developed trauma bonding.

2) Bridging Freedom also trains others to bring awareness to the community. Prevention is key.

3) Bridging Freedom is committed to providing an on-campus individualized, holistic, therapeutic safe home for young girls traumatized by commercial sexual exploitation. We are committed to providing placement solutions for the FBI, Department of Justice Human Trafficking Task Forces, and Florida state law enforcement that rescue youth who have been manipulated, kidnapped, or have run away from trouble homes and find themselves preyed upon by traffickers and cannot escape.

Our children are bought and sold in Tampa Bay every day in this hidden crime which is now the second most profitable crime in the world. Regrettably, Florida is the third highest rate in reports of human trafficking in the U.S.

Our local undercover law agents rescue in excess of 50 girls each year in the Tampa Bay area alone with no successful programs that provides a safe and therapeutic campus for the healing of trauma bonding and Stockholm Syndrome.

Bridging Freedom's program will provide each girl the opportunity to heal mentally, physically, and spiritually. Each girl will live in a healthy atmosphere, in traditional homes, with her own bedroom and bathroom. She will be able to walk about the many beautiful paths inscribed with loving messages from the community. Gazebos, ponds and gardens offer her the opportunity to breathe deep and feel safe in a community-style setting. Many outdoor therapeutic activities will be offered such as equine, gardening, butterfly, and art therapies, coupled with her individual trauma-informed care therapy from certified clinical therapists. Volunteers are an integral component of healing as the girls begin to understand they are loved by the community and have a purpose in life. Parents or foster care parents will regain or develop a relationship with the young girl throughout the 1 to 2 year program to provide a sustainable transition from the program.

COMPLETED STRATEGIES:

To Understand the Need: The Founder of Bridging Freedom completed a Gap Analysis of Services for child sex trafficking victims for the Clearwater/Tampa Bay Area Task Force on Human Trafficking in 2011 due to the undercover agents need of placement solutions. When no services were found in Florida, a Best Practices Search was completed and found that Wellspring Living in Atlanta Georgia had been operating for several years and were very successful with rehabilitating victimized girls.

To Receive Mentorship: Bridging Freedom was granted a year and a half mentorship through Wellspring Living to establish a successful program for the State of Florida.

To Develop the 501c3 Business, Marketing, Board of Directors

To Partner with the community for: a large land gift, start-up funding; pro-bono services and funding to build the campus site.


UPCOMING STRATEGIES

Obtain funding for the building of the 6 homes
Obtain funding for the therapeutic staff
Obtain operational funding
Train staff
Receive rescued victims
Restore stolen childhoods

Bridging Freedom has the capacity to be successful because of: 1) Passion and dedication, 2) Alignment and support of law enforcement, 3) Successfully progressing through the start-up phase

Our founder, who worked with The Clearwater/Tampa Bay Area Task Force on Human Trafficking, has an undying passion to bring this solution to our community and to bring healing to our rescued children. She has rallied the community and has been a leader in educating the State of Florida legislation on the need for successful model for our children who have developed trauma-bonding due to their victimization. Many other organizations have also added efforts to their programs to help bring awareness to their members, and some have added additional programs to help provide services to victims who have been less traumatized.

A professional Board of Directors and Advisory Board has been developed to successfully build a sustainable organization. Our Board of Directors are professionals in law, finance, public health, communications, and community advocacy. We are aligned with our community's task force on human trafficking, have received the FBI's 2013 Director's Community Leadership Award.

3) Our business development has progressed through the start-up phase to the ground breaking phase. Our momentum is growing. Additionally, we have launched our first sustainable business (on-line thrift store), and have a large land gift to not only establish the rehabilitation program, but to use the land for sustainable businesses such as blueberry, bee, and trout farming. We have registered with agencies to begin applying for Federal, State and Community grants.

The mission of Bridging Freedom is to combat Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking by: 1) bringing restoration to those who are rescued, and 2) prevention to those we reach with our message.

1) Bridging Freedom is developing and implementing a long term therapeutic safe home campus for our child victims based on best practices. Child victims have been rescued by our local HSI, ICE, FBI, FDLE, Sheriff and Police undercover agents out of the hands of traffickers who force them to provide horrific sexual acts to hundreds of buyers here in Tampa Bay. Bridging Freedom has progressed and gained momentum in developing partnerships with the community to build this urgently needed safe home campus for our children.
2) Bridging Freedom has provided awareness and prevention information on the hidden crime of child sex trafficking occurring within Tampa Bay. Hundreds of thousands of people have been reached with information about this issue.

This project takes a team of experts. We are very encouraged with the partnerships below that have been developed to help to make this campus a reality:
• Land Donor – Nearly 100 Acres
• Funding through the State of Florida to develop the site
• Pro bono architect for home design and site plan
• County approved site development
• Pro bono engineer
• National healthcare organization that is partnering to help us identify and apply for therapeutic grants
• Donated professional offices to expedite work and to engage volunteers
• Grant funded office equipment and software
• Grant funded Volunteer Management System to engage community volunteers
• Thus far, four Freedom League partners (committing $7000 for 7 years)... a strong start!
• Many churches and social clubs that are hosting events for us
• On-line thrift store – The Shoppes of Bridging Freedom
• Bridging Freedom Professional Advisors helping us to navigate the licensing process, clinical direction, outcome studies and measurements
• Professional board members and partners covering such areas as law, finance, communications, and community advocacy.

Other Major Partners:
• Our grant funded mentorship with Wellspring Living was completed last summer. Wellspring Living has the highest success rate in the nation in the rehabilitation of child sex trafficking victims.
• The 2013 FBI Director's Community Leadership Award. The FBI flew our founder to Washington D.C. in April 2014 to receive this recognition validating the urgent need for this campus.
• The hard work of speaking to hundreds of organizations over the past year and a half has created an effective footprint in order to kick-off our capital fundraising campaign in mid-2015 to invite companies and individuals of capacity to partner in this effort.

It is our hope you are encouraged with this update as we know you are doing your part in opening avenues of opportunities for us to bring awareness of this need for our children.

Financials

BRIDGING FREEDOM INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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BRIDGING FREEDOM INC

Board of directors
as of 2/25/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

In Progress

Upon Request

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No