Special Issues

Human Trafficking & Child Slavery

There is a grave misconception in this country that human trafficking is a trend relegated to foreign soil. But the painful truth is that human trafficking – one of the world's fastest-growing criminal industries – is a monstrous issue in this country. In fact, 85% of confirmed sex trafficking victims are U.S. citizens, mostly runaway children.

Often disconnected from family and friends, homeless kids are particularly susceptible to traffickers who will lure them with the promise of food, warmth, and even false love. Once snatched from the streets without anyone noticing, they are sold for the highest price, their dignity and sense of self destroyed.

Covenant House receives many of these young people after they've found the courage to escape capture, have been freed by police raids, or have made contact with Covenant House outreach staff combing the streets day and night looking for kids in need and at risk.

The Facts about Human Trafficking in Georgia

  • Atlanta was named by the FBI as one of 14 US cities with the highest rate of children used in prostitution
  • In Georgia, 12,400 men purchase sex with young women in any given month.
  • Approximately 100 adolescent females are sexually exploited each night in Georgia.
  • In Georgia, adolescent females controlled by the child sex trafficking trade are sexually exploited by an adult male on an average of three times per night.

On Their Behalf, We Offer an Urgent Call to Service

We must ignite, state by state, a movement by schools, civic groups, police, social service agencies, and child advocates LIKE YOU to speak out for those who have been victims, work together to raise awareness of the crisis, and empower our government to protect America's children.

Visit our Abolish Child Trafficking website to learn how you can make a difference. 

Local Food Systems & Nutrition

Help Us Grow

Help Us Grow (HUG) is Covenant House's new gardening social enterprise designed to empower homeless youth through local food! Did you know that 57% of homeless youth spend at least one day each month without food? For most of our youth, nutritious, well-balanced meals were a luxury during their childhood. At CHGA, we aim to help our youth understand the importance of local food systems and give them the opportunity to participate. With support from Atlanta’s Office of Sustainability, the Food Well Alliance, and Carlyle’s Catering, the youth at CHGA are meeting demand for local seedlings and produce, all while learning about social enterprise. The purpose of the project is three-fold:

  • Enterprise: One of the most important steps to escaping homelessness is employment. Through HUG, youth are learning transferable business skills and being introduced to alternative career paths.
  • Garden Therapy: A study by Bristol University showed that bacteria in soil trigger the same neurological response as anti-depressant drugs. Through gardening, we encourage our youth to naturally alleviate their depression and anxiety and increase their ability to interact healthily with others. As it turns out, helping things grow provides them with the opportunity to heal & grow themselves!
  • Education & Nutrition: Learning about nutrition is often something that our youth don't have the chance to do even though it is critical to leading a healthy lifestyle. We take this opportunity to not only teach them and help them understand the importance of nutrition, but also to provide them with healthy nutrition now. The organic vegetables grown in the garden are often used by our chef in the meals we serve to the youth.

The mission of CHGA is to help suffering children of the streets, and the launching of HUG is an important step in bringing these youth from homelessness to hope. 

For more information, contact Jillian Robinson at jrobinson@covenanthouse.org. 

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