Dorothy’s House – 2018 IWF Grant Partner


It’s easy to think of human trafficking as something that happens to people you’ve never met in places you’ve never heard of. But according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, in 2017 alone, there were 74 reported cases of human trafficking here in Iowa. That doesn’t include the untold number of victims who never got the chance to tell their stories and be counted.

Many of the young women affected attend our schools. They live in our neighborhoods. We know their faces and interact with them on a daily basis. And yet, too often, we have no idea of the struggles they face when they go home every night.

A Space to Heal

In 2016, Kellie Markey opened Dorothy’s House in central Iowa to provide a healing environment for survivors of human trafficking. Their two-home campus provides a safe space for the practice of life for the girls and women whose lives have been interrupted by sex trafficking and exploitation. Here, they find support, guidance, and a place to move forward.

“We provide access to physical health care, mental well-being, education/job and life skills, and the opportunity to build a community of support,” says Markey. “We strive to look at the whole person and their cumulative life experience and trauma profile to customize services unique to their circumstances. We hope for a minimum of six months up to two years of residential support in order to change belief systems that create vulnerabilities.”

Moving the Mission Forward

Since opening their doors in 2016, Dorothy’s House has served youth over the age of 18. But the organization understands the importance of early intervention. In the summer of 2018, they will begin serving teens ages 14-17—a big step in combatting the attitudes and beliefs that keep the human trafficking industry alive and well.

The Iowa Women’s Foundation is proud to call Dorothy’s House one of our 2018 Grant Sponsors. To learn more about Markey’s journey to expand this critical service to young women, click here to read this thoughtful article from the Des Moines Register.