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My name is Diego.

I’m a proud dad of two boys who are now enrolled in Kansas City schools. We are safe but six months ago, I didn’t know if we’d make it another week.

I was a victim of human trafficking in Georgia where I was forced to work in the tobacco fields from which I successfully escaped. You see, I was being exploited. They threated harm to my children. I was forced to work nonstop all day with little food in horrible conditions. I feared for our lives every moment of every day. It was a nightmare. I had to escape. A friend in Kansas City
offered to help me.

After I escaped, I arrived in KC with my kids hoping to start new life. My friend helped me work with the Mexican Consulate to ensure my and my children’s safety. The Mexican Consulate suggested I talk with Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas about housing and employment counseling. I was able to legalize my immigration status and now am able to work in the US legally.

Walking into the Catholic Charities’ Emergency Assistance Center doors, I felt hopeful. Through Catholic Charities’ Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) funds, my case manager was able to pay for our first month rent in a nice, safe area and got me connected with Bishop Sullivan Center for employment options. A couple of week later, I was able to find employment and I’m now
working at a local business in their warehouse. My family shopped at the Catholic Charities’ food pantry those first few months in Kansas City. My case manager worked with me on several other referrals to other local service providers for additional help with my family’s other needs.

I am extremely thankful to Catholic Charities for all the assistance, guidance and support the staff gave to me and my boys!

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