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 Dignity — We 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.
Community — We 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.
Growth — We 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.
Beauty — We 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.
Hope — We 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 sisterhood 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.
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!
Our Leadership Team
Paula Haines, CEO
Barbie Witt, Director of Finance + HR
Carissa Martin, Director of Operations
Laurie Sargent, Food + Beverage Director
Vanessa Perkins, Director of Programs
Lexi Rogers, HR Executive Assistant
Grace Figliomeni, Sales Manager
Christine Focht, Catering Manager
Tamara Robinson, Assistant Catering Manager
Jamie Slayton, Butterfly Engagement Manager
Brooke Pinkham, Resource Manager
Kathy Sherry, CATCH Program Manager
Dorie Sessoms, Housing Resource Manager
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
For all other inquiries please email us at email@example.com and we will connect you to the correct team member.
Daniel Bloch, Board Treasurer
Kate Finley, Board President
Joyce McKinniss, Board Secretary
Human Trafficking Initative, Ohio Attorney General’s Office
Melissa Calloway Stacy
CATCH Court graduate, survivor