Catholic Charities programs include services for children and families, seniors, people who are poor or disadvantaged, immigrants and victims of human trafficking.
Cynthia was a teenager in Peru when her mom and dad were promised work, a safe place to live and legal residency in the United States. A few months after they arrived on Long Island, they began to realize that they were victims of human traffickers, living with more than 30 other victims in one house. No matter how hard her mom and dad worked to pay back the debt they owed the traffickers, the traffickers added more and more on, and they refused to return their legal documents to them.
Cynthia and the other young people living in the house were not allowed to leave or attend school. Mom and Dad worked double shifts to try to pay off the ever-increasing debt. The families were given limited food and faced many abuses and hardships.
When immigration services became aware of the case, they contacted Catholic Charities to help the families. Catholic Charities assisted the adults in obtaining employment, provided housing and representation in court, as well as counseling to all the families, especially to the children, many of whom had been traumatized by the experience.
I am going back to school, and very soon I will be a citizen, shares Cynthia.