OUR CAUSE

Dwelle Collaborative actively collaborates with like-minded organizations and entities to combat the issue of human trafficking and believes it takes a village's UNITED effort to stop the traffic. We believe every individual and industry can contribute in their own unique way to stand for freedom for all + halt human exploitation.

 

According to Polaris, human trafficking is the "business of stealing freedom for profit". We are in the "business of returning independence for a free society". We do our part by providing services to survivor participants free of charge through the commitment of pro-bono professionals, including occupational therapists, counselors, workshop leaders, mentors and more. 

Dwelle's Occupational Therapy Program serves as a missing link between systemized care and independent, sustainable living by addressing the survivor's holistic needs of the mind, body and spirit through wellness and career support. 

Thriver Highlight

TIKA THORNTON

Dwelle Alumna | Survivor | Thriver

 

Crisis Response Case Manager, Mentor, Advocate, Speaker

 

Tika is a powerful voice advocating for the freedom of those enslaved by sex trafficking. She has delivered keynote addresses at Universities and has been featured on TEDx Talk and Buzz Feed (click links below) as well as other media outlets.

What's the best gift you've ever received? 

My nephews 

 

Most memorable career moment so far?

My Tedx Talk

What's your spirit animal?

Tiger

What do you think is the most important life lesson for someone to learn?

Time is precious 

 

If you had a superpower what would it be?

Infinite knowledge 

What are you most excited about these days?

Business 

Best way to decompress?

A hot bath

 

If you could create a scholarship, what would it be?

Full tuition, room and board for domestic sex trafficking victims 

 

If your life was a song, what would the title be?

“Yes she will...”

 

When do you feel beautiful?

When I fix my hair for the day

 

Tea or coffee?

Coffee

 

What is something you learned at Dwelle Collaborative that you still use to this day?

I’ve learned to create goals and hold myself accountable in reaching my goals 

 

What is your ideal breakfast?

Fruit and french toast

 

How will you know when you’ve “made it”?

When I can retire. 

 

What’s the closest thing to real magic?

Falling in Love

 

Who is making you laugh lately?

My boyfriend 

 

How do you know when you’ve found a good friend?

When they become family

 

What’s something you wish you had more time for?

My nephews 

 

If you had 100k, what would you do with it?

Down payment towards 2 duplexes and rent rooms to survivors 

 

What is something you’d tell yourself 5 years ago?

Be patient, you'll see why. 

Thriver Highlight

JESSIKA FUHRMANECK

Dwelle Alumna | Survivor | Thriver

Actor, Author, Advocate, Mentor
 

Jessika is an inspiring leader advocating for those who have experienced the trauma of sexual exploitation and abuse. She has  written a book called "From Pain to Purpose" (click link below). This book is a helpful guide to anyone struggling to recover from a loss or trauma and wondering how to get their life back on track.  

What's the best gift you've ever received?  

My son.

Most memorable career moment so far?

I greatly enjoyed meeting and working with Reese Witherspoon on an independent film we were both cast in.  I had the misfortune of being half way in and out of my costume when she arrived in the dressing room.  But Reese didn't miss a beat. She looked me straight in the eye and introduced herself!

   

What do you think is the most important life lesson for someone to learn?

Be authentic.  No one can be me.  I have had a lot of struggles with identity because of the messages I received from  my abusers and the commercial sex trade.  Every year I allow myself to be a more and more authentic version of myself.  Once I came to realize that it's ok if people don't like me, I was free.  Being my true self allows me to thrive and it allows the right people to share this journey with me in an empowering way.

If you had a superpower what would it be?

This question brings me to tears.  If I could somehow shield women and children from violence I would want to be able to do that.  I envision a shield, much like Wonder Woman's that would somehow prevent predators from being able to cause the harm that they do.  I don't need to fly or lift things... I just want a powerful shield that could protect and prevent so much of the trauma that stems from violence and assault.  

What is your favorite thing to buy at the grocery store?

Kefir.  I drink it every morning religiously.  It tastes terrible, but it's so soothing to the digestive system.  I have come to really enjoy self care.  And self care for me is not binging on chocolates or pizza.  It's truly loving my body and allowing it to thrive.

What is the best thing that happened this past year?

My mom went in to remission from cancer after a two year battle.  She has been a huge support to me my entire life and I can't imagine going a week without having access to her.  I hope she lives many more years!!

Best way to decompress?

Ride a motorcycle through the canyons.

If you could create a scholarship, what would it be?

I would like to offer scholarships to survivors of parental alienation.  So many of the women I know have battled abusive exes in family court and it becomes a vicious cycle with little positive outcomes for anyone involved.  I myself experienced 13 years of family court with my ex husband and in the end our family could have paid for my son's college with the amount spent on our legal teams.  I would love to see survivors of family court have an opportunity to study law and be able to bring some real change to a very broken system.

If your life was a song, what would the title be?

Never Ever Ever Give Up.  Those words have come to me at crucial moments over the years.  I'm not stronger than other survivors.  I'm not smarter or more worthy of recovery.  I am just willful enough to get up time and time and time again through the pain and through the seemingly impossible situations.  Our minds will tell us we can't, but if we just put that thought down and keep moving forward, eventually the forward movement wins, and you find yourself living a completely different life than the one you had before.

When do you feel beautiful?

When someone who truly loves me looks me deeply in my eyes.  When I feel seen and known I feel the most beautiful.

Tea or coffee?

Tea.  Green or black.  Decaf with stevia and cream.

What is something you learned at Dwelle Collaborative that you still use to this day?

I still use my pink [Life Management] binder that divides my life in to 4 different categories [self-care, work, leisure, community] and gives me lists of things that need to get done in those 4 areas.  I take it with me to the DMV, to the doctor.  I put the important papers in there and I know the day will be successful as long as it's all in my pink binder.  Sometimes I just hold the binder across my chest and sort of hug it.  Just knowing that I have the spread sheets and lists inside helps me feel there is always hope and always a direction to focus on when things seem hard.

What is your ideal breakfast?

A glass of kefir and a grapefruit.

How will you know when you’ve “made it”?

I have already made it.  I have lived more life than most people ever will.  I have met amazing people, seen nearly all of our country and parts of other countries.  I have seen the darkness and I've seen the light and I know who I am at the end of the day.  I am loved by family and adored by my friends.  I "made it" a long time ago when I decided that I was worth it.  

What’s the closest thing to real magic?

So many things come to mind... butterflies - standing on the edge of a cliff and watching the cold waves crash against the rocks - a thick fog rolling in from the sea and surrounding me so that I can't see my hand in front of me.  This world is filled with magic.  It's a magical place.  We have a father in heaven, but I think people too often forget that we have a beautiful mother planet that we live on.  And if we listen, and are very still, we can see the magic unfold right in front of our eyes.

Who is making you laugh lately?

A new found and unexpected love is bringing me a lot of joy lately.  When we have an opportunity to truly know someone and see the parts of them that most people never know, we can feel a deeper joy.  And those kind of laughs together are so precious to me.

If you had 100k, what would you do with it?

Pay the debts!! And then get my mother a proper home of her own.  I know she would love that.  

What is something you’d tell yourself 5 years ago?

It's okay to leave.  You are lovable.  Your future will be bigger and greater than you ever imagined.

Help Empower Women Today!

Your contributions will go toward services that help women heal

and reintegrate into society after overcoming human trafficking.

"The Future belongs to those who believe in the Beauty of their Dreams."    -Eleanor Roosevelt

© 2020 Dwelle Collaborative