There are over 314,000 victims of sex trafficking in the state of Texas alone each year. Of those, 79,000 are minors and youth.
Texas is the second highest state in the nation for number of calls to the National Human Trafficking Resources Center.
Treasured Vessels Foundation (TVF) on Friday celebrated the completion of its first residential community for survivors of domestic sex trafficking with a ribbon cutting ceremony presented by the Frisco Chamber of Commerce at Venture X in Frisco.
“It's a really unique model because a lot of organizations have opportunities to maybe do weekly coaching or bi-weekly, but we're providing every single day and creating plans for each woman individually,” TVF Director of Communications Abigail Ours said.
TVF provides programs for survivors of domestic sex trafficking in North Texas, including Dallas, Tarrant, Collin, Denton and Grayson counties.
The foundation was created to provide trauma-informed, individualized care to help the healing and recovery process for survivors of sex trafficking.
The center will have room for up to eight individuals ages 18-24 years old.
“Once a woman is rescued, people just kind of put a Band-Aid on it, or pigeonhole her in a substance and alcohol abuse rehab or some sort of other shelter,” Founder and CEO Alicia Bush said in a release. "We really don't have enough specific solutions for an exploited and trafficked woman."
“We are going to do this right. We are going to do this together as a community,” she added.
Bush founded TVF in 2016 after she discovered the lack of long-term placement for sex trafficking survivors.
Over the past few years the organization has spent time building relationships with law enforcement, local nonprofit organizations and service providers. The organization has also educated the community on the widespread issue of sex trafficking while empowering them to be a part of the solution.
The program includes treatment plans, educational support, life skill support, and other therapies such as equine, yoga, gardening, art and music.
TVF wants to provide more housing and programs for those affected by human trafficking. The organization hopes to serve male survivors as well.
“Long term, our goal is to really work ourselves out of a job,” Ours said.
TVF works with the C7 Coalition, North Texas Coalition Against Sex Trafficking, C3ST, Youth Homelessness Committee, Frisco Chamber of Commerce, Plano Chamber of Commerce, White House Faith Leaders and the CEO Non-Profit Council.
For information visit treasuredvesselsfoundation.org.