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Safe Harbor regional navigators

Meet them

Regional navigators (RN) serve multiple counties within their region. They are great resources to reach out to when navigating cases with Safe Harbor. Resources provided are referrals to services, education and training, and help with developing protocols to spread the word about Safe Harbor to improve responses in a region.  

There will be an opportunity to be involved in a session specifically for particular regions to meet regional navigators, as well as others from the same region. This provides time to learn more about issues surrounding an area, and to network with others to ‘move forward’ with work in Safe Harbor.  

Southwest Minnesota

Serving the counties of Blue Earth, Brown, Cottonwood, Faribault, Jackson, Le Sueur, Lincoln, Lyon, Martin, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Rock, Sibley and Watonwan.

Name: Allan Bakke
Agency: Southwest Crisis Center, Worthington, Minn.
Contact number: 507-360-0053

Bio: With a Bachelor of Science in Communications, and Master of Divinity, Bakke served as a pastor of two rural Minnesota congregations, was a chaplain at a Veteran’s Affairs medical center, and director of development at Western Community Action, prior to his work at the Southwest Crisis Center. As the Safe Harbor regional navigator, Bakke serves as a point of contact and support for youth experiencing sexual exploitation and trafficking to help connect them with services. He serves as a resource for communities and systems professionals in developing a coordinated response to sexual exploitation and trafficking. 

Northwest Minnesota 

Serving the counties of Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater, Hubbard, Itasca, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake and Roseau

Name: Michael Pittman
Agency: Support Within Reach 
Contact number: 218-444-9524

Bio: Pittman is the Safe Harbor regional navigator at Support Within Reach, Bemidji, Minn. He provides training, consultations, and referrals for service providers and communities. His current focus is on creating community coordinated responses in each of his counties. He is a trained facilitator in Not a #Number, a youth-centered curriculum on human trafficking and exploitation. Pittman earned a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology with a minor in German from Minnesota State University, Moorhead, and Concordia College. As a student, his focus on research was dark tourism/tourism and how it can perpetuate a cycle of exploitation. He also spent time researching and creating a language map with the Meskwaki Nation of Iowa. Relatively new to Safe Harbor, he is excited to make a difference in communities, while also nurturing a culture of understanding, trauma-informed care, and victim-centered advocacy to those in his area. 

Southeast Minnesota 

Serving the counties of Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca and Winona.

Name: Laura Sutherland
Agency: Victim Services: Dodge, Fillmore and Olmsted counties
Contact number: 507- 328-7275

Bio: Sutherland is the program manager for the Southeastern Minn. Safe Harbor office, and for Victim Services in Dodge, Fillmore and Olmsted counties. She earned a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School. She previously worked at the Wisconsin Department of Justice as an assistant attorney general, and was also a regional navigator for five years. In that position, she provided prevention education on exploitation to thousands of students across southeastern Minn. Sutherland has trained more than 10,000 service providers on Safe Harbor, sex trafficking and exploitation. Her office is in Olmsted County Victim Services. 

West Central Minnesota

Serving the counties of Becker, Big Stone, Chippewa, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, McLeod, Meeker, Otter Tail, Pope, Renville, Stevens, Swift, Traverse, Wadena, Wilkin and Yellow Medicine.

Name: Becki Jordan
Agency: Someplace Safe
Contact number: 320-979-9481 (cell/text)

Bio: As the west central regional navigator, Jordan works in partnership with Someplace Safe and the Minnesota Department of Health to provide regional expertise, training, community education, and technical assistance on sexual exploitation and human trafficking. She brings more than a decade of experience working with victims/survivors, organizations and professionals, including education and research on topics including domestic and sexual violence prevention, childhood trauma, the dynamics of victimization and human trafficking. Jordan is a member of the Safe Harbor State Advisory Committee and serves as chair of the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault. 

Central Minnesota

Serving the counties of Aitkin, Benton, Crow Wing, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd and Wright.

Name: Kate LePage
Agency: Lutheran Social Service
Contact number: 218-824-3770 (crisis line answered 24/7)
Email: or

Bio: LePage is a graduate of St. Cloud State University with a bachelor’s focused on child development and human relations, and a minor in psychology. Prior to becoming the regional navigator, she worked with individuals having experienced sexual violence as a certified sexual assault advocate, volunteering at a local agency where she became a member of its board. She was introduced to Safe Harbor as a housing case manager for Saving Grace, a specialized foster care housing model program for youth having experienced commercial sexual exploitation.  

Northeast Minnesota

Serving the counties of Carlton, Cook, Kanabec, Lake, Mille Lacs, Pine and  St. Louis.  

Name: Mel Alvar
Agency: PAVSA (Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault)
Contact number: Office: 218-726-1442 or 24-hour crisis line, 218-726-1931

Bio: Alvar earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Health Promotion and Gender Studies, University of Minnesota, Duluth. She has been a peer and community educator in the twin ports since 2004, joining PAVSA as a sexual assault advocate in 2013. Prior to becoming the regional navigator, she served as the Safe Harbor youth advocate in the Trafficking program at PAVSA, 2015-2018. As a youth advocate, she coordinated youth programming by initiating/facilitating the PAVSA Youth Advisory Board, providing direct services to youth survivors of sexual violence, including exploitation/trafficking, outreach and prevention education in schools and local youth-serving agencies. Alvar is a trainer for the Not a #Number Facilitators Certification Training, a youth-centered curriculum created by Love146 on human trafficking and exploitation, and co-developer of Heart Smarts, an exploitation prevention curriculum for youth age 12 and younger. She continues to serve as a point of contact and support for individuals, families and communities experiencing exploitation and trafficking, offering referrals to trauma-responsive services. She serves as a resource for communities and systems professionals in developing a coordinated response to sexual exploitation and trafficking.  

East Metro 

Serving the counties of Anoka, Chisago, Dakota, Isanti, Ramsey and Washington.  

Name: Trevor Berberick
Agency: Midwest Children’s Resource Center (MCRC) 
Contact number: 651-220-6750

Bio: Berberick is the regional navigator with the Midwest Children’s Resource Center, a hospital-based child advocacy center at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. He works to build regional capacity and increase access for exploited and at-risk youth age 24 and under. He has a background working with runaway and homeless youth in emergency shelter and transitional living programs. His Bachelor of Arts was earned at Macalester College, St. Paul, Minn., with research focused on the intersections of homelessness and exploitation/trafficking of LGBTQ youth and boys.

West Metro

Serving the counties of Carver, Hennepin and Scott.  

Name: Stacy Schultz
Agency: The Link
Contact number: 612-232-5428 or 612-226-1604

Bio: Schultz is the regional navigator with The Link, an organization that works with youth and families to overcome the impacts of poverty and social injustice. She provides advocacy for victims/survivors of sexual exploitation/trafficking, as well as providing education and training to organizations and professionals on Safe Harbor resources. Schultz earned a Master of Arts in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice from Queens University Belfast, Northern Ireland, and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts with a minor in Psychology from St. Cloud State University. In addition to her tenure in youth work, she is also a certified conflict mediator and works as a freelance theatre artist. 

This conference is produced under #2016-MU-MU-K153, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and recommendations expressed in this conference are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the U.S. Department of Justice. 
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