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2013 Director’s Community Leadership Awards

Birmingham The WellHouse

Director Comey and Tajuan McCarty

Founder and Executive Director Tajuan McCarty accepts the award on behalf of The WellHouse.
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The Birmingham Division honors The WellHouse, a non-profit, faith-based organization established to offer support to women who are victims of human trafficking. Accepting the award is founder and Executive Director Tajuan McCarty.

In 2009, Ms. McCarty and colleague Lisa Holifield started the Samaritan Woman Ministry, a street outreach program offering assistance to women who were being forced into prostitution. After realizing the large number of women affected by human trafficking, Ms. McCarty and Ms. Holifield expanded the street program to include The WellHouse—though they had only $33 in the bank. Today, The WellHouse has grown to include four homes that provide shelter to trafficking victims. In addition to housing, the organization provides air and ground transportation so that victims can be reunited with their loved ones. Since 2011, The WellHouse has rescued or assisted more than 100 women ranging in age from 13 to 54. Of those rescued, 77 percent were Alabama natives, 22 percent were from other states, and 1 percent were foreign nationals.

To further its mission, The WellHouse operates a crisis hotline for victims and those seeking information about human trafficking. The organization also works to inform the general public about human trafficking through presentations made to community organizations, religious groups, and schools. The WellHouse also works with more than 20 law enforcement agencies through the Alabama Fusion Center, as well as with officers assigned to human trafficking task forces nationwide.


FBI Director Recognizes
Distinguished Community Leaders
Director’s Community Leadership Awards

In a ceremony at FBI Headquarters on April 4, 2014, Director James B. Comey recognized the recipients of the 2013 Director’s Community Leadership Award. These leaders, selected by their area FBI field office, have demonstrated outstanding contributions to their local communities through service. The FBI is grateful for the work of each of these individuals and organizations on behalf of their communities.

“This year’s honorees have distinguished themselves in remarkable ways through their hard work, their leadership, and their strength of character,” said Director Comey. “They are ordinary citizens, but what they have accomplished is nothing short of extraordinary.”

Recipients of the 2013 Director’s Community Leadership Award are:

- Albany
- Albuquerque
- Anchorage
- Atlanta
- Baltimore
- Birmingham
- Boston
- Buffalo
- Charlotte
- Chicago
- Cincinnati
- Cleveland
- Columbia
- Dallas
- Denver
- Detroit
- El Paso
- Honolulu
- Houston
- Indianapolis
- Jackson
- Jacksonville
- Kansas City
- Knoxville
- Las Vegas
- Little Rock
- Los Angeles
- Louisville
- Memphis

- Milwaukee
- Minneapolis
- Mobile
- New Haven
- New Orleans
- New York
- Newark
- Norfolk
- Oklahoma City
- Omaha
- Philadelphia
- Phoenix
- Pittsburgh
- Portland
- Richmond
- Sacramento
- Salt Lake City
- San Antonio
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- San Juan
- Seattle
- Springfield
- St. Louis
- Tampa
- Washington Field
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