Free to Thrive

A fresh start for human trafficking survivors

aka Free to Thrive   |   San Diego, CA   |


Free to Thrive empowers survivors of human trafficking to be free from exploitation and to thrive by providing them with holistic and trauma-informed legal and support services in collaboration with our service partners, and by increasing access to justice for all survivors.

Ruling year info


President & Managing Attorney

Jamie Beck

Main address

1050 University Ave #E107-84

San Diego, CA 92103 USA

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NTEE code info

Legal Services (I80)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Problem: Human trafficking is a global issue that is pervasive across the United States. Human Trafficking exists in every state in the United States though there are areas where human trafficking is more concentrated. California, and specifically San Diego County, is one of these areas, with an estimated 8,000 to 11,000 sex trafficking victims each year and an additional 40,000 victims of labor trafficking. Need: There are very few holistic legal service providers that specifically serve trafficking survivors in the US. This gap in services means that there is a great and urgent need for attorneys to provide no-cost representation to trafficking survivors. It is critical that attorneys providing these services are trained in trauma-informed lawyering, the legal needs of trafficking survivors, forms of legal relief, models for delivery of services, best practices, and other important topics. There is also a need for justice reform; BIPOC survivors are disproportionately criminalized.

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?

Free to Thrive Legal Clinic

The Free to Thrive Legal Clinic provides mobile, holistic and trauma-informed legal services to human trafficking survivors.

Population(s) Served
Victims and oppressed people
Women and girls

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of non-legal, critical needs Free to Thrive has assisted human trafficking survivors with (since the COVID-19 pandemic).

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, People with disabilities, Women and girls, LGBTQ people, Social and economic status

Related Program

Free to Thrive Legal Clinic

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This metric relates to the reach of our STEER program which provides free personalized, holistic and trauma-informed guidance to help HT survivors navigate available essential emergency resources.

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.

Free to Thrive’s goals are to:

-Comprehensively serve survivors’ legal needs so that they have increased access to justice and our legal system.

-Increase the capacity of the legal system to serve survivors’ unique needs by engaging public interest and private-practice attorneys to serve the needs of our underserved client population through training and supporting pro bono attorneys.

-Train the next generation of lawyers to serve human trafficking survivors through our legal internship program.

-Improve overall client wellness by providing financial empowerment support and connections to holistic supportive services to include mental health services, addiction treatment, safe housing, employment and education support, food, medical care, and much more.

-Continue to build collaborative relationships with social service providers and to continue to train provider staff to identify human trafficking victims and survivors and to provide trauma-informed care.

-Bring awareness to our community regarding the problem and need of human trafficking by speaking at community events and conducting outreach throughout the community.

-Train attorneys and service providers across the country to serve human trafficking survivors by conducting in-person and virtual trainings.

-Scale/replicate Free to Thrive to serve the needs of human trafficking victims and survivors in cities, counties, and states where there are no or very few organizations supporting trafficking survivors. In scaling/replicating, Free to Thrive seeks to expand holistic and trauma-informed services for victims and survivors and to build collaborative networks of trauma-informed service providers in each location. In doing so, a much greater number of human trafficking survivors will be empowered to be free from exploitation and to thrive.

Please see Free to Thrive's 2021 Strategic Plan.

Free to Thrive’s team of staff, interns and volunteers, and its robust community partnerships enable Free to Thrive to meet its goals. Since 2017, Free to Thrive has grown from one employee in its first year to 12 employees in 2020. This growth has increased Free to Thrive’s capacity to holistically serve the needs of survivors of human trafficking. In this same time, Free to Thrive has utilized the services of more than 70 pro bono attorneys for a total of over 2,000 hours of donated legal services.

In addition, Free to Thrive serves its growing client population and the community by operating a robust internship program for undergraduate, graduate and law students at universities around the United States. Since our inception, Free to Thrive has had 37 student interns. Free to Thrive is training the next generation of lawyers and community leaders to support survivors of human trafficking with kindness, compassion, and zealous advocacy.

Free to Thrive’s holistic approach would not be possible without our dedicated community partners who support our clients’ non-legal needs. Free to Thrive has 63 social services organizations and 11 government agencies who refer survivors to Free to Thrive for legal services and to whom Free to Thrive refers survivors for services to include food, shelter, clothing, mental health care, medical care, employment and educational support, tattoo removal and cover up and much more. These community relationships allow Free to Thrive to maximize resources with trauma-informed service providers to holistically serve survivors’ unique needs.

Financial Overview:
Despite the financial challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Free to Thrive remained fiscally stable, enabling us to continue serving our clients throughout the pandemic. Free to Thrive’s successful fundraising during a global pandemic and economic crisis is a testament to the critical need for our services, the acknowledgment of this by our generous donors and funders, and an incredible amount of work by our staff and board to raise the funds necessary to continue our work throughout the pandemic.

Free to Thrive currently has an operating reserve of $400,447, which equates to 4.4 months of cash on hand based on the 2021 budget of $1,000,480.

Looking Ahead - Exciting Things Planned:
-Expand our services outside of San Diego. Our goal is to serve all of Southern California, focusing first on expanding our services to Los Angeles.
-Expand our online trainings to include a Trauma Training Academy focused on training the legal and broader community on human trafficking, trauma-informed care and serving the legal needs of survivors
-Expand the reach of our Survivor Empowerment Programs

Our Impact and Accomplishments

In 2020, FTT:
-assisted 29 clients with criminal advocacy matters
-represented clients in 4 virtual child custody trials
-completed 12 child custody cases
-helped 14 clients obtain restraining orders. (For orders involving children, 100% gave FTT clients primary physical custody and 50% denied the abuser’s visitation rights entirely)
-assisted 15 survivors to legally change their names
-won 12 vacatur petitions in four counties in Southern California
-helped clients with 16 different specialized needs, including personal injury, corporate law, power of attorney, cross-border car seizure, and a birth certificate amendment
-gathered and disseminated over 120 community resources to 78 clients. We helped these clients with nearly 300 unique non-legal needs, with an average of 4 non-legal needs per client since the COVID outbreak.
-launched 6 empowerment opportunities for survivors as part of our Thriving Together program in collaboration with our service provider partners: (i) Trauma-informed yoga; (ii) Music therapy and mindfulness meditation for Free to Thrive clients, staff and community partners; (iii) 10-week survivor-led empowerment program; (iv) Parenting workshops starting in 2021; (v) High school GED courses; and (vi) Life-skills learning modules
-hosted 3 financial workshops and reached a total of 55 participants from 6 different states
-hosted 10 virtual trainings on the following topics: criminal vacatur, trauma-informed care, family law, eviction, and social security litigation. People reached: 562 individuals trained from 32 states and 4 countries
-hosted students from the following Universities:
George Washington University
Harvard University
Northwestern California School of Law
San Diego State University
San Jose State University
University of California, Berkeley
University of San Diego, Kroc School of Peace Studies University of San Diego, School of Law
Washington University School of Law

In 2019, there were:
-110 court appearances by FTT attorneys
-87 clients connected to non-legal services
-60 clients who transitioned out of jail with FTT's help
-17 clients who received support in their business and non-profit ventures
-16 clients who received other legal assistance
-11 successful petitions for Criminal Vacatur
-7 warrants cleared
-5 name or gender marker changes with FTT’s assistance
-6,412 individuals reached through FTT’s community engagement and education initiatives


Free to Thrive

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


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Free to Thrive

Board of directors
as of 06/08/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Roger Martin

Humans Against Trafficking

Term: 2021 -

Vincent Hall

Feeding San Diego

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? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • 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? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/16/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data