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New Houston Coffee Shop Supports Human Trafficking Victims

Volunteers are hard at work putting the finishing touches on the shop. Once it’s open, profits will fund services for human trafficking survivors.

Erica Ragget is showing me around her new coffee shop in the Heights, A 2nd Cup.

“Right here in this space is where we’re going to have information about organizations who are in the fight and how people can get involved with them, and then on that wall over there, we’re going to have just general statistics about human trafficking,” Raggett says.

Volunteers are hard at work putting the finishing touches on the shop. Once it’s open, profits will fund services for human trafficking survivors.

It’s a cause Ragget has been supporting for years. She started out in 2011 selling coffee at local churches. She eventually expanded to a small pop-up shop which was open just a few days a week. As we tour the new 5,000-square foot facility, Ragget says the space will allow them educate even more people about the issue of human trafficking.

“We’ll also eventually have services for survivors, things like classes and mentoring and GED training and resume writing, things like that, and that will be housed in the back of the space,” she says.

Ragget says she knows pairing coffee and anti-trafficking work is an unusual idea, and at first she was nervous about taking on the project. But her husband, Mark Ragget, encouraged her to give it a try.

He says there were lots of local organizations dedicated to helping survivors, but much of that work was happening outside the public eye.

“It’s so great to have this coffee shop just as a permanent symbol of the fact that Houstonians want to figure out this problem, want to figure out what’s going on, figure out what they can do to help and make a difference because it’s not OK to live in a city where this just happens and people don’t try and change it,” Mark Ragget says.

An estimated 17,500 people are trafficked into the U.S. annually. State officials say almost 20 percent of all victims travel through Texas.

A 2nd Cup will host its grand opening celebration Saturday, Oct. 17 at 10 a.m.  

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Tomeka Weatherspoon

Senior Producer

Tomeka Weatherspoon is an Emmy-award winning producer. She produces segments, the weekly television program Arts InSight, the short film showcase The Territory and a forthcoming digital series on innovation. Originally from the Midwest, Tomeka studied convergence journalism from the world’s first journalism school at the University of Missouri. She has...

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