Success Story

Latriste Graham

Latriste spent 25 years on a dangerous path in Chicago. Her life revolved around gangs, prostitution, drugs, and jail. In 2007, while in treatment, she made a decision to leave Chicago. She left Illinois with a bus ticket, a sponsor lined up in MN, and a few contacts for aftercare. She started her recovery, attending prostitution and drug support groups. She moved into transitional housing. After over a year of being sober, she returned to Chicago to visit family. While she was there, Latriste ended up helping another woman who was very vulnerable. Thus began Coming Out of Bondage, a program that serves women leaving prostitution.

Latriste is the founder. Since then, she has helped several women relocate and leave a lifestyle that is so damaging. She continues to do this through street outreach, and the passion in her heart to help. Latriste makes 2 visits to Chicago each year to do outreach. She talks with women on the streets about her program, leaves her number, and posts flyers. She has created some eligibility criteria for her program.

If they are serious and ready to leave, she provides the following: • a bus ticket to Minneapolis • pick up at the bus station • transport to county office to sign up for county assistance • rule 25 assessment • help finding a treatment program, if appropriate • finding shelter • referrals to other programs and services as needed • emotional support. In 2012, she was awarded a $1000 MicroGrant to help support her program. She eventually wants to provide housing. Latriste has connections to mentors who continue to help her plan, learn, and grow. She is thinking about applying for 501(c)(3) status.