HOUSTON, Texas, USA by Emily Foxhall of the Texas Tribune via the New York Times (7/14/2012) — On the outskirts of the city, a two-story lodge with a wraparound porch is largely hidden on a 110-acre site in the woods. Horses graze in front of the building, and a volleyball court and educational center stand behind. Down winding paths are a ropes course, a pool and a lake.
But the name of the recently opened facility, Freedom Place, cannot be found, and its address is undisclosed: it is the state’s first privately run safe house that provides long-term housing for American girls who are victims of sex trafficking. The shelter represents a new solution for state legislators and county officials as they try to figure out how best to support such victims.
“Typical emergency shelters — girls would just totally run from them,” said Kellie Armstrong, the executive director of Freedom Place, which can house up to 30 residents. The staff arranges counseling, schooling and recreational activities.
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