Weirton’s Chatt Golden recognized

HONORED — Chatt Golden has received the Excellence in Government, Federal Executive Board Community Service 2019 Gold Award. -- Contributed

WERTON — Chatt Golden, a Weirton resident, has won the Excellence in Government, Federal Executive Board Community Service 2019 Gold Award

Golden has been employed at VA Pittsburgh since 2010. He started his career as a police officer, transferred to the human resources department in 2014 and became the human resources specialist over workers’ compensation at VA Pittsburgh.

Golden is also an active member of his church and spent many years serving as a youth leader. Last June, he went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic, and his team assisted with several Vacation Bible Schools. After learning that a children’s home had limited access to electricity, Golden and his team helped to direct efforts to purchase and install a solar power system at the home.

Golden and his wife, Theresa, also working to combat human trafficking in the area. They discovered that Ohio is ranked fourth in the nation for reported human trafficking cases and that there are only about 500 beds in America designated for human trafficking survivors.

They opened a safe house, Refuge 1:99, in March 2018 and started to house and support human trafficking survivors in last June. Refuge 1:99 is long-term adult residential safe house for human trafficking survivors. Staff members educate the public on human trafficking through speaking engagements and community events.

The Goldens are working to set up a network for all safe houses throughout the nation. Golden is a member of Ohio’s human trafficking commission.

On average, a human trafficking survivor goes back to being trafficked seven times before they are finally able to break free. With that in mind, Refuge 1:99 decided to partner with other safe houses in the nation and transport survivors to a different location. This allows for the survivor to safely leave the area and makes it more difficult for their trafficker to locate them.

On Dec. 1, Refuge 1:99 announced that it had become partners with Refuge for Women, which has seven safe houses spread across seven states. Its goal is to have at least one safe house in every state.

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