The Mary Magdalene Project, a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organization established in 1980, has given women who have been victimized by domestic sex trafficking and street prostitution the opportunity to turn their lives around and permanently exit the life. Through an intensive and comprehensive program, the women face, cope with and then overcome the many obstacles that life has dealt them. New relationships are formed, skills and strengths are discovered.
Mary Magdalene Project Programs And Services Include:
Approximately 87% of our clients were molested as children, 61% of them had to leave home before they were eighteen, 81% have been homeless and 70% of them have children, though only 16% of them have custody.
We are the ONLY organization in Southern California singularly committed to meeting the ongoing challenges of helping female victims of domestic sex trafficking and prostitution leave the life, overcome their fears and empower them to reach their potential and to achieve their goals.
The Mary Magdalene Project was created by a grant from the Presbyterian Women of America (PWA) in June 1980 at the prompting of West Hollywood Presbyterian’s Reverend Ross Greek. Its location on Sunset Boulevard had put him in contact with prostituted women working the streets right outside his church. He told the PWA he was giving these women what was, at best, only temporary shelter from abusive pimps and violet johns, allowing them to hide or sleep in pews during the day. What was needed to effect real change was food, clothing and shelter. Without these, it was impossible for an immediate exit from dependence on either a pimp, or the funds obtained from commercial sexual exploitation.
PWA responded with a $30,000 original grant which was used to rent a residential house in the distant relative security of the San Fernando Valley. Women were allowed to escape into the program where they were hidden and cared for up to 6 months, and then they were given bus tickets home. While it didn’t take long to realize the homes of origin were frequently responsible for the circumstances that led to their exploitation, this residential program was, and is, the only residential program exclusively for women aged 18 or over seeking an escape from domestic sex trafficking and prostitution. As the only solution in Southern California for commercially sexually exploited adult females, the program ultimately expanded beyond the original intervention to include family reunification and intergenerational prevention programs, relapse prevention, emergency support services, street outreach, and harm reduction programs for successive approximation interventions.
While many agencies attempt to provide services to intervene in any or all of the co-occurring disorders, only Mary Magdalene Project exists to address healing from the whole experience of domestic sex trafficking and prostitution and its corollary challenges.
- Hayman House Residential Treatment Program
Family Reunification Program
Emergency Intervention Support Services
Street Outreach Program