FBI Birmingham Honors The WellHouse with 2013 Director’s Community Leadership Award
|FBI Birmingham December 19, 2013|
BIRMINGHAM—Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Richard D. Schwein, Jr. announced that The WellHouse is the Birmingham Division recipient of the 2013 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA). SAC Schwein presented a certificate to Tajuan McCarty, executive director and founder of The WellHouse, at a press conference held today at FBI Birmingham headquarters.
Ms. McCarty will attend a presentation in April 2014 in Washington, D.C., where FBI Director James B. Comey will present a formal award to her and other recipients from across the country.
Since 1990, the FBI has recognized individuals and organizations whose achievements in the terrorism, crime, drug, gang, or violence prevention/education field had an exemplary impact on the community. Each year, the SAC of each FBI field office selects an individual or organization that has made a major contribution in these areas.
McCarty started The Samaritan Woman Ministry in 2009. As an outgrowth of this street outreach, The WellHouse was opened in 2011 with only $33 in the bank, with a goal of providing assistance to victims of human trafficking. In the two-and-a-half years since they opened, they have rescued or assisted over 100 women, ranging in age from 13 to 54. Of those rescued, 77 percent were Alabama natives, 22 percent were from other states, and one percent were foreign nationals. Included in their operations is a transportation support program, which provides private air, commercial air, and ground transportation to victims.
In addition, The WellHouse provides training to law enforcement, schools, universities, social service agencies, and churches, both locally and nationally.
“The WellHouse has positively impacted our community in ways many people will never know. Human trafficking, or modern day slavery, is a growing problem and impacts the lives of both children and adults here in North Alabama,” said Schwein. “The WellHouse provides care and comfort to those victimized by human trafficking, and we are pleased to recognize their work.”
“Receiving the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award is a monumental step for The WellHouse. Embracing the vision of our Lord in 2010, I could only have imagined making an impact such as this. I am grateful and at a loss for words at the doors this award will open for The WellHouse, our current residents, and future residents. We are grateful to be an impact in our community and our nation," said McCarty.
Schwein encouraged anyone who has information on possible victims of human trafficking to call the FBI at (205) 326-6166.
For more information on The WellHouse, visit their website, www.the-wellhouse.org.