SOLVING ONE BIG PROBLEM WITH ONE SMALL APP:

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The Dilemma

When a sexually exploited victim is rescued, she/he is in need of basic necessities: food, clothes, hygiene items and safe shelter. If adequate resources are provided for the victim, she feels valued, cared for, and secure. Experience and research shows that trafficked victims who get their immediate needs met have a much higher success rate of getting out of the life and not ending up back with their trafficker. Creating a wrap around care support system as soon as possible is critical for survivors. This also leads to cooperation with law enforcement, which significantly increases the chances of trafficker prosecution.


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Navigating Help:

Nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, and churches have resources and want to help, but there is no clear communications path. Locating and coordinating necessary items can take countless hours for police officers and victim advocates, who have limited time with a survivor.


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The BTG Solution:

Create one communication path using a custom built app providing law enforcement and victim advocates with a communication portal to meet a victim’s immediate needs in real time.

 
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The BTG App Process:

Members from a 501(c)(3) organization, church, or other agency apply to be part of the Bridging the Gap community.

Law enforcement and victim advocates post needs on the app, where requests for assistance are distributed to participating members via a push notification system, which allows direct communication with one another to meet the need. Requests are received and fulfilled immediately saving time, money, and the victim from more trauma.

Survivors get the resources and services they need and have hope for a better future and healing.

Other app features allow community partners to post resources or services available, volunteer opportunities, and other valuable information.

BTG app users make a difference and create safer communities.


 
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True story-Proven Success!


Bridging the Gap-Oregon (BTGO) exists to help meet the needs of the sexually exploited in our community through a collaborative effort among Community Partners.


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Bridging the Gap-Oregon’s main focus is to build a comprehensive, secure mobile app featuring advanced technology with an integrated alert system, directory of organizations and members, victim resource guide, and private in app messaging for officers and advocates while on duty in the field.  

The BTGO app will serve both iOS and Android devices, and be downloadable from iTunes App Store and Google Play Store. The app will be developed to be scalable in the future with features for a mass centralized communication system for city, state and national agencies.  BTGO will test the app in Portland, OR, where the Portland Police Bureau has already approved the app to be downloaded on officer phones.

The initial app is being built for those serving sexually exploited victims. This app will be a platform for other governmental or social service agencies to have a similar app built. Examples include Dept. of Human Services (immediate placement and resources for children); housing bureaus (for urgent housing or addressing the homeless needs); domestic violence centers, etc.  Apps for these agencies could potentially save government agencies millions of dollars in staff hours, resources, and crisis/emergency funds, while simultaneously filling immediate needs without the burden.

Our three year plan is to create a mobile app for nine cities who have a human trafficking task force and collaborative model in place. Contact us if your city or agency is interested in having an app built for your city.

Other planned BTGO activities will include providing Trauma Informed Training to victim advocates, law enforcement, and other community groups.


Bridging the Gap-Oregon History and FUTURE

 
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Bridging the Gap founding members: Officer Mike Gallagher, Pastor Marc Estes, Darlene Domenigoni, Craig Wishart, Dianna Rogers, receive the Commendation Medal from the Portland Police Bureau for creating the BTG website.

HISTORY: BTGO is a long time-vision of Officer Mike Gallagher, Portland Police Bureau Sex Trafficking Unit. Over the years, Mike would spend countless hours tracking down resources for sexually exploited victims, and at the same time, had organizations offering to help, but no way to effectively and efficiently communicate with them. His idea was to fill the gap by communicating, in real time, the urgent needs to organizations that have the resources to help. Leaders of the community helped Mike form BTGO in January 2014, operating as a group of volunteers. In June 2014, BTGO developed an intranet website to provide law enforcement and victim advocates with a communication portal to meet victim needs. Through the website, information was distributed immediately to approved users, who were part of a governmental agency, 501(c)(3) organization, or church, via a push notification system which allows direct communication with one another to meet the need. In May 2015, BTG leaders were awarded the Portland Police Bureau Commendation Medal for creating the BTG website, which has provided resources for hundreds of victims.

FUTURE: The new app will be built on a comprehensive platform that provides more information and services than the previous website. There are many success stories over the years with the website and we are excited how the new mobile app will impact thousands of victims locally, nationally, and globally.

 
Founder: Michael Gallagher, Portland Police Bureau   Twenty-six year police officer with the past 9 years in the Portland Police Department Sex Trafficking Unit. Mike has been a pivotal member of the Sex Trafficking Unit and has seen the devastation caused when an individual is forced into a life of sexual exploitation. Mike works to establish relationships with victim-advocate groups, the district attorney’s office, community and church members, and charitable organizations to systemically confront sex trafficking.  Mike is passionate about seeing victims get the help they need to move from victim-to survivor-to thriver. He also works diligently to address the demand side, because eliminating the demand would eradicate sex trafficking. Mike coordinates the SBAD (Sex Buyers Accountability and Diversion) school to educate sex buyers on the damage and destruction their dollar is doing to women, children, their marriage, job, and community.

Founder: Michael Gallagher, Portland Police Bureau

Twenty-six year police officer with the past 9 years in the Portland Police Department Sex Trafficking Unit. Mike has been a pivotal member of the Sex Trafficking Unit and has seen the devastation caused when an individual is forced into a life of sexual exploitation. Mike works to establish relationships with victim-advocate groups, the district attorney’s office, community and church members, and charitable organizations to systemically confront sex trafficking.

Mike is passionate about seeing victims get the help they need to move from victim-to survivor-to thriver. He also works diligently to address the demand side, because eliminating the demand would eradicate sex trafficking. Mike coordinates the SBAD (Sex Buyers Accountability and Diversion) school to educate sex buyers on the damage and destruction their dollar is doing to women, children, their marriage, job, and community.

President: Darlene Domenigoni   Darlene has worked in anti-trafficking efforts since 2011, coordinating resources from churches and community partners for sexually exploited victims. In 2013, she developed a mentoring program for survivors and was the Director for fours years. Darlene been a part of Bridging the Gap since it was formed as in January 2014.  Darlene formed and serves as the Director of the Mentor Support Collaborative, LLC. The MSC is a team of trauma informed leaders dedicated to developing healthy leaders, training and equipping the Faith Community for anti-trafficking efforts. Darlene has been building trusted relationships with the anti-trafficking community for the last 7 years and believes it’s critical to collaborate in our efforts.  Aside from anti-trafficking work, Darlene has over 20 years of administrative experience, was a real estate broker, and spent eight years working in the accounting department of three companies reconciling and auditing corporate accounts.

President: Darlene Domenigoni

Darlene has worked in anti-trafficking efforts since 2011, coordinating resources from churches and community partners for sexually exploited victims. In 2013, she developed a mentoring program for survivors and was the Director for fours years. Darlene been a part of Bridging the Gap since it was formed as in January 2014.

Darlene formed and serves as the Director of the Mentor Support Collaborative, LLC. The MSC is a team of trauma informed leaders dedicated to developing healthy leaders, training and equipping the Faith Community for anti-trafficking efforts. Darlene has been building trusted relationships with the anti-trafficking community for the last 7 years and believes it’s critical to collaborate in our efforts.

Aside from anti-trafficking work, Darlene has over 20 years of administrative experience, was a real estate broker, and spent eight years working in the accounting department of three companies reconciling and auditing corporate accounts.

Secretary and acting Treasurer, Michele Lathrop   Michele joined International Teams in 2011 after learning about the issue child trafficking in the United States. She has served as the Anti-Trafficking Ministry Coordinator for their Portland team for five years. Michele’s focus has been prevention through community awareness, education and working with youth to empower them with knowledge and personal resources to equip them to be less vulnerable to the manipulations used by traffickers.  Michele has worked alongside many Portland agencies to address core issues of human trafficking related to prevention at the community level. She has co-authored the “Girl Empowerment” prevention curriculum in partnership with World Venture. Aside from her work in anti-trafficking efforts, Michele has experience as a bookkeeper for local nonprofits.

Secretary and acting Treasurer, Michele Lathrop

Michele joined International Teams in 2011 after learning about the issue child trafficking in the United States. She has served as the Anti-Trafficking Ministry Coordinator for their Portland team for five years. Michele’s focus has been prevention through community awareness, education and working with youth to empower them with knowledge and personal resources to equip them to be less vulnerable to the manipulations used by traffickers.

Michele has worked alongside many Portland agencies to address core issues of human trafficking related to prevention at the community level. She has co-authored the “Girl Empowerment” prevention curriculum in partnership with World Venture. Aside from her work in anti-trafficking efforts, Michele has experience as a bookkeeper for local nonprofits.

 
 
Board Member, Andrea Benson   Andrea has her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Minor in Global Studies. Andrea currently works as a Client Service Manager for a Financial Company. Andrea’s deep passion is for spreading awareness of sex trafficking with the hope that no one will ever have to endure what she has as a sex trafficked survivor.  Some of Andrea’s anti-trafficking efforts include being a part of the U.S.Department of Homeland Security's Blue Campaign and the Novo Foundation’s Life Story Project.. She’s been featured in Educational Campaigns, public Service Announcements, and several local media broadcasts. Andrea has also been a keynote speaker for many anti-trafficking organizations, churches, events, and training with the Portland Police Bureau Sex Trafficking Unit.  Having a survivor-leader on an anti-trafficking organization’s Board is vital and valuable to our BTGO’s efforts.

Board Member, Andrea Benson

Andrea has her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Minor in Global Studies. Andrea currently works as a Client Service Manager for a Financial Company. Andrea’s deep passion is for spreading awareness of sex trafficking with the hope that no one will ever have to endure what she has as a sex trafficked survivor.

Some of Andrea’s anti-trafficking efforts include being a part of the U.S.Department of Homeland Security's Blue Campaign and the Novo Foundation’s Life Story Project.. She’s been featured in Educational Campaigns, public Service Announcements, and several local media broadcasts. Andrea has also been a keynote speaker for many anti-trafficking organizations, churches, events, and training with the Portland Police Bureau Sex Trafficking Unit.

Having a survivor-leader on an anti-trafficking organization’s Board is vital and valuable to our BTGO’s efforts.

Board Member, Dana Clark   Dana has led anti-trafficking efforts since 2012. She is the Chair of East Portland End Sex Trafficking Committee, coordinating the anti-trafficking efforts of four local Rotary clubs.  Dana coordinates training for the hotel industry, which includes the committee’s efforts of distributing 10,000 bars of soap labeled with the HT National Hotline number for victims to call for help. Dana is also the marketing coordinator for awareness ads on buses, shelters, local newspapers, and currently spearheading a project with the Port of Portland to get signs in the PDX airport.  Dana has been a community leader for decades and is a retired broadcaster.

Board Member, Dana Clark

Dana has led anti-trafficking efforts since 2012. She is the Chair of East Portland End Sex Trafficking Committee, coordinating the anti-trafficking efforts of four local Rotary clubs.

Dana coordinates training for the hotel industry, which includes the committee’s efforts of distributing 10,000 bars of soap labeled with the HT National Hotline number for victims to call for help. Dana is also the marketing coordinator for awareness ads on buses, shelters, local newspapers, and currently spearheading a project with the Port of Portland to get signs in the PDX airport.

Dana has been a community leader for decades and is a retired broadcaster.

Board Member, Christine LeVay   Christine is the Vice President of Sales WA, OR & HI for UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement. Christine has a passion for helping the vulnerable, especially those who have been abused and exploited. Christine has over 15 years of experience in marketing, communications, and sales.

Board Member, Christine LeVay

Christine is the Vice President of Sales WA, OR & HI for UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement. Christine has a passion for helping the vulnerable, especially those who have been abused and exploited. Christine has over 15 years of experience in marketing, communications, and sales.

 
 
Bridging the Gap-Oregon Outside Advisor: Pastor Marc Estes, Mannahouse Church   Pastor Marc is a nationally and internationally known creative communicator and author who has reached thousands with his dynamic leadership skills and unique perspectives on the Bible. He is well respected in Portland/Vancouver and has worked relentlessly to build bridges with other churches, public schools, law enforcement, anti-sex trafficking groups, foster care agencies and other groups to transform our community and break down the walls that have divided it. He is also the President of Portland Bible College that focuses on training leaders around the globe.

Bridging the Gap-Oregon Outside Advisor: Pastor Marc Estes, Mannahouse Church

Pastor Marc is a nationally and internationally known creative communicator and author who has reached thousands with his dynamic leadership skills and unique perspectives on the Bible. He is well respected in Portland/Vancouver and has worked relentlessly to build bridges with other churches, public schools, law enforcement, anti-sex trafficking groups, foster care agencies and other groups to transform our community and break down the walls that have divided it. He is also the President of Portland Bible College that focuses on training leaders around the globe.

 
Bridging the Gap-Oregon Technology Consultant: Craig Wishart, Custom Built Apps

Bridging the Gap-Oregon Technology Consultant: Craig Wishart, Custom Built Apps

 

Contact Us

Bridging the Gap-Oregon

13203 SE 172nd Ave. Suite 166 #228
Happy Valley, OR 97086

info@bridgingthegaporegon.org

 
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Get Involved

Bridging the Gap-Oregon founder, Portland Police Bureau Officer Mike Gallagher, is part of the Sex Trafficking Unit and works with victims on a continuous basis. There is always a need for hygiene products, gift cards to Fred Meyer, Target, Ross, Starbucks or fast food places. If you’d like to donate resources, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help your donations get to victims being served by the PPB or other local organizations.

The Bridging the Gap mobile app is currently being developed. If your organization has a program that serves sexually exploited victims and you would like to sign up to take part in the beta testing upon completion, please sign up with the notification link below to be contacted for upcoming meetings. The app will be tested in Portland, OR with the Portland Police Bureau Sex Trafficking Unit and selected community partners.

SIGN up for Notifications

Communication regarding Bridging the Gap mobile app.

Volunteer opportunities

If you would like more information on how you can volunteer with Bridging the Gap-Oregon or supporting victims, please contact us.

Donations

Bridging the Gap-Oregon is currently awaiting approval for (501)(c)(3) status from the IRS. Please contact us for more information on how you can support Bridging the Gap-Oregon.