We’ve been blazing our own trail as a combination business and non-profit. As such a unique entity, you may have some questions. Here are the ones we run into most frequently. Feel free to contact us if you don’t see what you’re looking for. We love answering your questions!
Contrary to popular belief, slavery didn’t end with sugar cane, shackles, and the South. It has just gone underground. Today slavery is more often referred to as human trafficking. A victim of human trafficking is someone who is exploited through force, fraud or coercion for the economic gain of another. This could mean forced labor in agriculture or sweat shops, domestic servitude, fighting as child soldiers, or sex trafficking. Legally, there must be either force, fraud or coercion involved for a situation to be considered trafficking. Force is what you typically think of – beatings, rapes, restraints, etc. Fraud involves false promises such as marriage, education, or a job. Coercion involves threats to the person or their family and friends. Both labor and sex trafficking exist in Houston.
Human trafficking is the second largest criminal enterprise in the world, second only to the drug trade. It is an industry producing over $150 billion dollars in illegal profit every year.
Estimates suggest that more than 30 million slaves live in our world today; forced to work against their will, be sold as prostitutes, or become child soldiers. The majority of these victims are women and children, and they can be found all over the world, including the United States and our very own city.
We are a non-profit coffee shop doing our part to fight human-trafficking. As a coffee shop we raise awareness about human-trafficking occurring in our city and to provide a place in the community where people can gather and take positive action against trafficking. We also raise funds to support aftercare solutions for survivors of human-trafficking, including counseling, mentoring, work-experience and education.
After looking for 3 years for a permanent home, we found 1111 E. 11th St. and opened our doors on October 17, 2015.
Erica Raggett always wanted to open a coffee shop, but also had a passion to serve people in need. She was unable to see how these two things could be connected. When she heard about human trafficking, she knew she couldn’t just walk away feeling bad about it, but had to walk away doing something about it. Through her research and understanding of the issue in Houston, this idea emerged.
Boomtown has been really supportive of A 2nd Cup from the very beginning. They are our coffee roaster and unofficial mentor on how to run a coffee shop. They have been an incredible asset to us as we’ve launched this project.
We would love your help! If you are able to give financially, that is our major need as we move through our first year as a full-time shop. There are also many other ways you can get involved. Check out our Join the Fight page for more info.
Now that we are a full-fledged coffee shop, our profits will go toward aftercare solutions for survivors of human-trafficking. We plan to have counseling, mentoring, education, work experience, resume writing, etc. We will partner with existing organizations to be as effective at these things as possible. We will start these programs as soon as possible. Once we start turning a profit we will be able to financially contribute to other partner organizations. Some examples of organizations our profits will go to include: Redeemed Ministries, Homes of Hope, Freedom Place, Love146, Free the Captives.
Yes! We are a federal non-profit organization, which means all donations are tax exempt.
We purchase our coffee from a local roaster called Boomtown Coffee. Boomtown sources their coffee through coffee buyers who deal directly with the coffee farmers. This coffee is called Farm Gate Coffee. It is ethically sourced and prices are typically 50% higher than fair trade prices.
Most definitely! Houston is one of the hubs of human-trafficking in this country. Every day we meet people who have no idea that human trafficking exists at all, let alone in their own backyard. The more we are able to educate people about the realities of trafficking, the less likely it is to continue to thrive in our city! In addition, as victims are rescued from trafficking situations, they are in desperate need of specialized services to get them back on their feet. That’s why we are here. Other anti-human- trafficking organizations like Not For Sale, Redeemed Ministries and Exodus Cry are excited about what we are doing and are actively encouraging our mission.
Most definitely. Houston is actually a major hub of human trafficking. It is almost guaranteed that you drive by places where human trafficking occurs every day. One of the biggest forms of trafficking in Houston is sex-trafficking where women and children are forced to sell their bodies to men. Houston is a hub for many reasons – we are close to international borders and ports and we have an international airport, which means it is fairly accessible for international victims. We are also a very international city, which allows international victims and traffickers to blend in. In addition, I-10 is a major corridor for trafficked victims and it runs straight through the center of our city. Trafficking also increases with large events like sporting events, conferences, rodeos, etc, which Houston has many of.
We have had a lot of support from many other anti-trafficking groups in Houston. In fact, many have wanted to partner with us in a variety of ways, including Houston Rescue and Restore, Not For Sale, CAMSA (Coalition to Abolish Modern-day Slavery in Asia), Exodus Cry, etc.
We are a non-profit organization, so there are no owners. There is a board of directors of 6 people, including the founder.