Gems Uncovered was established as a nonprofit established in July 2011, by Founder, Mary E. White, when she answered a calling to help victims of human trafficking. Once she was aware of this horrible injustice, she took to action! As a result, she put in place Gems Uncovered signifying that no matter the circumstance or situation that each person is a “gem” and her job was to organize a nonprofit to provide needed services for prevention and aftercare by helping each victim or survivor uncover their divine gem qualities within.
Over the years, she has met so many victims’ with feelings of lives shattered by the brutal truth of sex exploitation. By helping countless people, and seeing there were so many more to help, she grew in her determination to provide additional services and support networks. She has since grown her leadership team, partners, and volunteers to take action and fight against Human Trafficking. Did you know the average human trafficked victims are between the ages of 12 to 17? With a life span of no more than seven years because many are found dead from attacks, abuse, HIV, and other cruel deaths. Because of this, Gems Uncovered has a passionate focus on prevention and aftercare for all victims and it is with this determination they help save and provide support to about 50 victims of sexual exploitation and prostitution each year.
What makes Gems Uncovered a precious resource is their vigilance to be out in the streets of Long Beach, Compton and Los Angeles every Friday night from 10 p.m. to midnight with their street outreach team. Come rain or shine, this team of volunteers consistently reaches out to the young girls, boys, men and women prostituting on the street with resources and prayers. It is on these Friday nights that they let each individual know they are not alone.
Having witnessed the hardships of these victims, and the control of their abusers, Mary envisioned their next step needed to be a Gems Uncovered Drop-in Center which became a reality in October 2012. This is the first and only Drop-in Center in Long Beach, California and it provides after care services for survivors of sex trafficking as well as a safe place for them to heal emotionally and have access to resources such as a Sexual Exploitation Diversion Program called Free 2B Me. The Ending the Game curriculum is created by a former human trafficked victim and now schoolteacher, Rachel Thomas. This coursework is filled with impactful steps for healing and forgiveness. This is the only drop-in center in Long Beach and an important resource to the community. It has grown in resources, funding opportunities, volunteers and partners by offering mentors, short- and long-term shelter, licensed counseling, GED preparation, goal setting, resume writing, and more.
Gems Uncovered will continue to grow our street outreach services, resources, partners, and volunteers by expanding and deepening our efforts to rescue more human lives affected by human trafficking while loving people to life.