Human trafficking is a growing problem across our nation, and the newest statistics around this form of slavery are staggering.
The state of Texas alone has over 79,000 children that were victims of human trafficking, making it the second busiest human trafficking state in the United States. Sadly the average age of these kids is just 12-14 years old, many of whom were abducted from small towns in broad daylight.
Because of the prevalence of this epidemic, one Dallas woman was determined to make a difference. A few years ago, Alicia Bush stepped away from her 11 year career in medical sales but wasn’t sure what she should do next.
Then her husband, a builder, brought up a conversation he’d had at a breakfast about how common sex trafficking was in the area. And Alicia had her answer.
She founded the non-profit, Treasured Vessels, and came up with a plan to help build shelters, heal hearts, and restore hope to the victims of human trafficking.
According to their website, “Treasured Vessels Foundation is devoted to providing a safe place for girls ages 11-17 who have been rescued from domestic sex trafficking to receive healing and hope.”
To that end, the charity has begun building a series of tiny houses designed to house 2 rescued victims each. These tiny homes will be contained within a safe, gated community in Collin County and will eventually house up to 60 adolescent girls. Once they’re in the homes, Treasured Vessels will provide the girls with comprehensive, individualized trauma therapy, education, and other holistic approaches to healing.
“When a victim is rescued today, there is nowhere for them to go to get the help they need. They continue to be at risk because they don’t have the resources to heal. There are ZERO long term residential aftercare facilities in North Texas with a treatment plan that has been proven to successfully treat and care for sexually exploited youth. Our homes will provide education, individualized therapy plans & multiple forms of therapy to restore victims’ lives.”
Treasured Vessels have already broken ground on the first two tiny homes in the development, all of which are being funded entirely by tax deductible donations. Each home costs just $30,000 to build, providing a safe environment for the healing to begin.
“The prognosis for children who receive the right care is incredibly positive with data showing that they are able not only survive, but thrive and become positive contributors to the society around them.”
It’s hard to fathom the horror of being stolen from your home and family and forced into slavery. Knowing that there are people like Alicia and programs like Treasured Vessels working tirelessly to educate, inform, and improve the lives of human trafficking victims is a comfort. Only love and light can drive out the darkness.
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