Our Mission, Values & Vision

people are not property.

No person should be bought or sold for sex. Not here in Central Ohio. Not anywhere.

Freedom a la Cart empowers survivors of sex trafficking and exploitation to build lives of freedom and self-sufficiency. We believe that giving a woman practical job skills and developing strong work ethic is vital for creating a pathway to freedom. So, we’ve created a safe place of restoration where survivors can heal, learn and grow as they prepare for sustainable employment and reintegrate into our community.

our core values

Respect and DignityWe connect with intention and communicate with sincerity, transparency, respect and dignity. We foster a spirit of positivity, inclusivity & gratitude while honoring the diversity of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives that make us unique.

CommunityWe create a safe and inclusive place where everyone feels valued and welcome. We embrace collaboration and recognize the unique contributions of each person. Every job, every person, every customer is equally important.

GrowthWe drive growth through bold risks and innovation. We challenge the status quo and look for new ways and next steps for personal, professional and business development. We are motivated change-makers and respect the uniqueness of each personal journey.

BeautyWe recognize the inherent worth of every individual.  We honor the beauty in ourselves, each other, our product, our work, and our surroundings.  We are perfectly imperfect people with passion, grit and a purpose.

HopeWe know that our past does not define our future and believe in second, third and fourth chances.  We build hope for the future by creating a place where everyone can pursue their dreams and reach their full potential. 


We envision a global tribe of survivors built on freedom, connection and mutual support

We believe our model that joins social purpose with business rationality is scalable, replicable and effective. We envision taking our model to new markets nationwide. It is our strong hope and vision that other cities will employ intentional economic empowerment as a means to break cycles of exploitation.


Join us. Donate now!


This program saves me every time I feel as though I can't get through something. I come to Freedom, and they show me how to walk through it. Freedom shows me I don't have to use to deal with life problems. I LOVE Freedom a la Cart!


What is Freedom a la Cart? A refuge from trauma, surrounded by grace and understanding, where the greatest challenge is personal transformation. A place where women who have spent a lifetime believing they are worthless can awaken to the truth that they indeed have value. That beauty is a quality that emanates from within us — not an external “look” that serves as the necessary means to attract the next client, the next high, to stay alive.

From around Ohio and sometimes beyond, survivors of human trafficking come to Freedom a la Cart in downtown Columbus to find the most beautiful people they have never known: Themselves

Located in a lovingly restored historic building on Spring Street, our bustling café + catering kitchens are where survivors spend approximately two years learning how to mix, bake, slice, chop, season, craft, plate and serve superlative quiches, salads, sandwiches and pastries that are made with local ingredients and known as some of the best food in the city

The practical job skills the women gain during their time here in our workforce development program are valuable currency on their journey to self-sufficiency. And the life skills they absorb are priceless. 

Sticking to a schedule. Conflict resolution. Working on a team and maintaining a professional demeanor. Learning to trust that they are in an environment where people are not threats to their safety. Showing up to work each day. Carrying themselves with pride and self-esteem. These are no easy feats.


Take a virtual tour of our beautiful building!

Read our 2023 Annual Report

Our Leadership Team

Paula Haines, CEO

Amanda Olavarria, COO

Barbie Witt, Director of Finance + HR

Laurie Sargent, Food + Beverage Director

Vanessa Perkins, Director of Programs

Lexi Rogers, HR Coordinator

Grace Figliomeni, Sales Manager

Tamara Robinson, Assistant Catering Manager

Jamie Slayton, Senior Resource Manager

Brooke Pinkham, Resource Manager

Dorie Sessoms, Housing Resource Manager

Lindsey Kreamer, Workforce Development Specialist

Jess Doone, Peer Support Specialist

Katie Kettlehake, Engagement Manager

Nicki Sizemore, Volunteer Coordinator

Devin Trout, Marketing Manager

If you are interested in volunteer opportunities please visit our Volunteer page.

If you are interested in ordering catering please email us at order@freedomalacart.org.

For all other inquiries please email us at info@freedomalacart.org and we will connect you to the correct team member.

Our Board

Sarah Ahern, Board President

Daniel Bloch, Board Treasurer
MGF Sourcing

Kate Finley, Past President
Belle Communication

Joyce McKinniss, Board Secretary
Jones Day

Ada Nwoke
Huntington National Bank

Kieran Sherry

Kristina Stuecher

Teonna Wells

Transform The Life of A Survivor

Make A Gift Today