The sex trafficking of domestic minors is finally starting to appear in the news and subsequently resound on the conscience of the American public as well as lawmakers. Safe Harbor laws, recognizing these youth as victims of sexual abuse and exploitation instead of treating them as criminals, are slowly but surely being implemented into state laws. While all of this is progress for the cause, there are still very few safe places for these children to reside once they are rescued from their abusers.
Most of the youth involved in the sex trade are runaways from abusive and neglectful homes of origin or already involved in the child welfare system. There are currently only a handful of therapeutic, residential programs in the entire country created specifically for this population. Resilience Rising is in the process of becoming another one of these homes. We are based in Colorado but can take youth from anywhere in the country. We have the capacity to house eight female youth and two small children to accommodate teenage mothers. Resilience Rising provides such basic needs as shelter, food, clothing, and nurturing; case management for medical and dental care, substance abuse treatment, and legal advocacy; onsite mental health services, including individual, group, creative arts, and animal therapy; an onsite school, focusing on GED attainment and college placement; and an onsite physical fitness program.
Resilience Rising is in its final stages of opening, which includes inspections and licensing through various county and state entities. We began working with the Denver Fire Department this summer to get our residential property up to code. According to a newer law, we are required to install a fire sprinkler system. While we respect this new code requirement and our number one priority is providing a safe home in every way, our start-up funding is limited and this costly code requirement is stalling our opening. We are hoping to fundraise much of this new cost so that we may open our doors as soon as possible to vulnerable youth desperately needing a place to call home.
Resilience Rising will be making our debut this fall at the 6th annual Justice Run in Colorado. This event brings together any and all non-profits working for the eradication of human trafficking in the United States and around the globe. It is a family-friendly event with a 10K run, 5K run/walk, and 1K kids run. Whether you're an abolitionist who likes to run or a runner who believes in freedom, come run/walk with us on October 4th. Register and join our team at www.thejusticerun.com. If you are unable to join us on event day, please consider sponsoring one of our teammates through a donation to our cause.
At Resilience Rising we believe that it takes a village to raise a child. We hope that you will join our village as we fight the sexual exploitation of American children. You can learn more about our background and our program by visiting our website at http://www.resilience-rising.org. Thank you for believing in these girls and in the work we do. We couldn't do what we do without YOU!