WACO, Texas- 60% of foster children fall victim to sexual exploitation and girls are in the highest percentage according to the National Foster Youth Institute.
The White House issued a proclamation, declaring January as National Human Trafficking Prevention month. A time to raise awareness and celebrate survivors.
Unbound Waco is fighting to stop the alarming statistics this month and all year around.
Global Director Susan Peters says when the organization started 10 years ago they were identifying less than five victims a year, now that number has consistently been over 100.
“The biggest hole is that safe housing for those survivors,” Peters said. “It is not unusual for us to call 12 to 15 placements to try to find a place.
Unbound Waco is in the process of hiring staff for a home that will serve teen girls ages 12 to 18 who have survived sexual exploitation in the foster care system.
The three bedroom home will open this summer with 24/7 staff members guiding the girls towards healing.
“We just now decided on the name of the home, and it’s going to be called The Regan,” Peters said. “When you look at the word Regan, it means a King’s daughter. Not only is it the first name of the major donor of the house, but we really hope that the girls really experience that they’re God’s daughters, and he has great plans for them as they come into the home and are restored.”
She says people in the community have come together to help complete the home with donations.
The organization will hold a special ceremony January 20th, with Mayor Dillon Meek and other people in the community.
Unbound wants to use this home along with other resources to help survivors get the help needed to recover.
“Prevention is incredible because we want to stop this from happening to anyone. The recovery is horrible and we don’t want it to happen to anyone,” Peters said.
On January 29th, Unbound will host a “Not in My City” event where people in the community will rally together to spread the message of prevention toward human trafficking.