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The Woman Who Shelters New York City's Trafficking Victims

Faith Huckel, founder and director of Restore NYC, took her social-work skills and a heap of prayer to launch the city's first and only long-term aftercare shelter for foreign-born trafficking victims.

When award-winning nonprofit leader Faith Huckel moved to New York City in 2003, she expected her time there to shape her career, but she thought that impact would come more from the social work graduate program she was entering than events at the United Nations headquarters nearby.

Then, just weeks into her studies, President George W. Bush addressed the UN, concluding a speech focused on the Middle East with a discussion of human trafficking, which he called a "modern-day form of slavery." Four months later, The New York Times Magazine ran an 8,500-word cover story on sex trafficking in America that launched thousands of shocked conversations.

Speaking to me recently, Huckel recalled the typical reaction to the report: "What? This is happening here? No. Come on. That's crazy." But, for her, she said, curiosity became an "obsession."

During previous social work in Philadelphia, Huckel, 33, had already seen the connection between poverty and commercial sex. "No one wakes up as a little girl ...

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