60-Day Emergency Assessment Program Starts Strong

 In Blog

In the five years since Rescue Houston launched its 24/7 hotline, we have helped rescue and support over 250 victims of sexual exploitation in greater Houston. Huge thanks to all who have contributed over the years, helping to bridge the gap for survivors between outreach efforts and long-term aftercare!

Years of service on the front line has afforded us greater revelation of the varied and complex life circumstances that affect survivor behavior. Driven by all we’ve learned, the clarity of our call, and the expertise and encouragement of our partners to fill the greatest need on Houston’s anti-sex trafficking landscape, Rescue Houston debuted our emergency assessment program in May 2018. From May to September, we provided services, continued to build, track program-related outcomes and ultimately learned a lot more about how to better serve survivors in the emergency assessment space.

With that, we officially hard-launched our 60-day emergency assessment program in January; its goals expressed in the last three tenets of our five-step process: Respond, Rescue, Assess, Stabilize, and Place. Considering that most victims who leave the life return to it within several days, the 60-day period after a victim leaves is arguably the most critical period in determining if she or he is likely to remain on the healing journey and exit the life. Below is an overview of the process and services provided in the Rescue Houston emergency assessment program:


While assessment informally begins the moment a survivor calls the hotline, our formal emergency assessment process, data collection, and resulting services are the “game-changing” pieces of our streamlined exit program. Once a survivor’s security is provided for by a partner shelter or other housing provider, the outstanding physiological needs are addressed—food, water, and sleep. Within 24-36 hours of placement, we invite a survivor to journey with us in our program, encouraging her or him prioritize healing for the next 60 days.

Survivor Reality Stats

Shortly following program commitment, specialized therapists, a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and advocates begin administering assessments and holistically treating behavioral challenges, “stuck places”, and DSM-V diagnoses common to victims of sex trafficking such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar and dissociative identity disorder.


As with the assessment piece, stabilization begins at the moment of client encounter. All members of our team are trained to “be the peace” in the storm and serve in love, helping to begin establishing trust in our process from the first hotline call. Formally, stabilization is the result of our 60-day emergency assessment day program which includes, but isn’t limited to the following services:

  • Weekly Case management appointments, including the facilitation of obtaining legal documents, court advocacy, psychiatric evaluation, other medical examinations, and treatment, continued care placement education and application assistance, etc.
  • Weekly Spiritual Exchange sessions
  • Weekly Next Step individual and group therapy sessions, including Rhythmic Movement Therapy, therapeutic bodywork, sensory development, reflex integration, mindfulness-based breathwork therapy, recreational therapy, etc.
  • Weekly Occupational Therapy
  • Bi-weekly Licensed Professional Counselor counseling
  • Weekly Survivor-Led Support Group
  • Mentor Outings at the discretion of mentor and mentee
  • Legal Mapping
  • New Life Look Makeovers in partnership with Sola Salon Studios


As clients approach the completion of our program, advocates help coordinate the continuation of their care in vetted long-term restoration homes or with community resource providers that will continue to facilitate their chosen path to recovery. Continued care placement may include a long-term trafficking safe home located anywhere throughout the country, independent living with case management, wrap-around resources, and/or connection and reintegration to their family and home life.

Rescue Houston: 5 Points of Stabilization. Respond, Rescue, Assess, Stabilize and Place.

From January through March, 18 survivors made 21 commitments to the emergency assessment program—three recommitted within this timeframe. We ended 1Q 2019 with eight survivors progressing through the program, seven had returned to the life, two were unable to complete due to urgent personal matters, and are so pleased to share that four graduated our 60-day program and transitioned on to receive continued care by our partners, including two long-term safe home programs.

Rescue Houston anticipates receiving 550 hotline calls this year, of which approximately 120 victims and survivors of the minimum 300 who call are expected to exit the life. Because of our church and community partners, and federal funding awarded by the Texas Governor’s Office, we look forward to providing services that will holistically support at least 72 survivors who will be able to participate in our emergency assessment program.

If you’re a survivor or know of one who may be interested in joining us in a 60-day healing journey, call our 24/7 hotline at 713.322.8000 or email us at info@rescuehouston.ngo.

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