Frequently Asked Questions

The Samaritan Women is intentional about ministry transparency.  We work hard to earn the trust of our clients, volunteers and donors, and want to build on that trust.  As we take these next big steps in ministry, you may have some questions.  Here are some responses, but if we haven’t addressed your specific question here, please reach out to us.

How did this change come about?

Over the past 5+ years we have been carefully studying the landscape of residential service providers.  We’ve come to observe and understand certain challenges:

  • the number of trafficking victims has been steadily rising, due in large part to awareness efforts YOU (and many others) have supported
  • to date we have been able to identify 174 agencies across the nation, with an average of 6 beds per agency, or a total of 1,044 beds available to serve over 100-300,000 victims
  • we have identified as many as 18 states that still have no provision for shelter care for victims of trafficking
  • many start-up shelter agencies fail within the first year—all as a result of preventable issues
  • some survivors have been poorly-served at the hands of perhaps well-meaning, but ill-equipped shelter operators

A 2018 Human Trafficking Journal article summed up the landscape this way: “Standards for success that are specific to sex trafficking victims currently do not exist. Residential facilities specific to trafficking victims are relatively new to the United States and there is not yet an overseeing body to provide a set of organizational standards or to offer research and training to improve residential facility success rates.”

This situation is intolerable to us. We can do better for survivors, and by God’s grace and with His provision, we will.

Is this new direction in response to some problem at TSW?

On the contrary; TSW is in a very healthy position.  We’re just realizing the magnitude of the need and feel called to do even more than we have been doing.  We aspire to move from our position of strength to reach out and help other agencies, who will then be able to reach more victims.

Will TSW continue to serve survivors?

Absolutely.  We will continue our residence programs, but we’ll likely be reshaping and resizing those programs based on what we learn from other agencies and from research.

Will TSW stay at its current location?

For the foreseeable future, there is no reason for us to be anywhere else.  We might, however, be moving a lot of stuff around in spring 2019.  Want to help?  Email:

What about the farm at TSW?  What will happen to it?

The land being used for urban farming has been managed by Atwaters for some time and will continue to be so.

Will there be new job opportunities within The Samaritan Women Institute and Shelter Care?

Yes.  We’ll be defining some new positions in research and training.  What’s exciting is that the Institute work opens up more opportunities to engage men in the Movement.  We also anticipate having more opportunities for graduate internships.  Interested?  Email:

What does this mean for volunteering?

Our current volunteer program will continue unchanged through June 2019.  TSW may not need as many volunteers as we have in years past, or perhaps not in the same capacities, but there will still be opportunities for serving.  You can always reach out to our Volunteer Coordinator for information on current volunteer opportunities:

How will the work of the Institute be funded?

It’s our intent to first look to the Church because our work going forward is even more a part of the Great Commission.  We hope we can count on your continued financial support. We will also be seeking other sources of funding for the sponsorship of agencies in the Mentoring Program and research projects.  If you have suggestions for funding sources, please contact