Charles Bender (left), Founding CEO, and Florida Attorney General Moody (right) during 2021 Place of Hope Paxson Campus tour.
Palm Beach Gardens, FL – This month, Place of Hope, one of the largest and most diverse children and families organizations in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, celebrated Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s announcement unveiling a new human trafficking prevention initiative called The 100 Percent Club. The announcement is timely as January marks Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Place of Hope has made the issue of trafficking a priority since 2012 and has been working diligently to bring services to survivors and education tools to the community.
Place of Hope appreciated the leadership shown by AG Moody, Lieutenant Governor Nunez, Representative Overdorf, and many others present at the press conference to take a unified zero tolerance stance for trafficking in the state of Florida. The 100 Percent Club, as explained by AG Moody, is aimed at training one hundred percent of a business’s employees on identifying the signs of trafficking and what actions to take.
While Florida ranks third in the nation for calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, AG Moody noted how far the state has come and the efforts of mobilizing task forces to streamline work with law enforcement and federal partners. Charles Bender, Place of Hope Founding CEO, has been engaged with the Florida Alliance to End Human Trafficking and has served on the Statewide Council Subcommittee on Direct Care.
“It has been a pleasure to join alongside AG Moody in our fight to abolish trafficking in the state,” said Bender. “At Place of Hope we are committed to meeting the needs of survivors in the community and providing all resources at our disposal to educating the community on this modern-day form of slavery. Last year we were thrilled to show AG Moody around our flagship campus where we provide direct care for foster children and discuss the harmful impact of trafficking.”
In 2020, Place of Hope released a free documentary on the issue called INVISIBLE. Through various efforts, Place of Hope was able to train more than 20,000 community members in 2021 to recognize the signs of human trafficking. In 2019, Place of Hope helped draft legislation for Florida House Bill 851. “Our passion for this cause comes from what we have seen take place in our state and around the world and how it effects children,” said AG Moody. Place of Hope looks forward to continuing efforts to protect the most vulnerable and defending the fatherless alongside leaders in our state.