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July 30, 2021

LIFT opens new, 15-bed shelter for women leaving sex work

Photo | Courtesy of LIFT Inc. Nicole Bell, right, founder of LIFT Inc., and and Audra Doody, left, senior director of outreach and advocacy, cut the ribbon at the nonprofit's new shelter.

Living in Freedom Together Inc., a Worcester nonprofit, opened on Wednesday a new HARBOR location which will function as a 24/7 drop-in center and shelter for prostituted women seeking to exit the sex trade.

LIFT is a nonprofit whose mission is ending the sex trade, by calling for the repealing laws criminalizing people in prostitution, providing exit programs for survivors, and reducing the demand for prostitution by penalizing and holding accountable buyers, exploiters, and traffickers. Its founder and CEO, Nicole Bell, is a former victim of the sex trade and now speaks nationally on LIFT's mission.

The new space is 4,000 square feet and will provide access to services like case management and mentoring, health care, hygiene supplies, harm reduction resources, meals, shelter and other forms of advocacy and support.

“The open floor plans and large windows make our four-story building inviting and spacious,” said Courtney Ross Escobar, chief operating officer and in-house legal counsel for LIFT, in a statement. “HARBOR now embodies the safety and security evoked by its name, both in its programming and environment.”

Healthcare, Advocacy, Room Board, Outreach and Rehousing (HARBOR) is a program LIFT piloted during the COVID-19 pandemic, which, following reported significant success in transitioning clients into the next phase of help they need, has now grown to include the shelter opened this week. 

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August 2, 2021
This is incredible! Nicole and team thank you for caring for these women, in Worcester and surrounding areas, and providing hope and a path forward.
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