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Safehouse 4 sex trafficking victims

$620 of $200,000 goal

Raised by 6 people in 12 months
I am a survivor of sex trafficking and I knew once free I needed to go reach others. I am the founder and executive director of Loving You Where You Are At. It was founded in October of 2012. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, ritual abuse, sex trafficking and work in the commercial sex industry. I was trapped in that world for almost 20 years. Loving You Where You Are At currently visits 12 strip clubs, 4 brothels and an LGBTQ club all across the Tampa Bay area every month taking in the reminding message they are Loved, Valued, and Purposed and support is here. We are in the process of opening a safe house for women 18+. We are passionate about making known the issues surrounding sex trafficking, sexual exploitation, and sexual abuse. In 2016 we received a Human Trafficking proclamation from the Pinellas County Board of county commissioners for the work we do . I am also a public speaker sharing my story and awareness on Sex trafficking. You can read more in my book No Safe Place from Childhood Abuse To Sex Trafficking

After building many relationships with those we reach and opening two drop-in-centers where we offer survivor led support groups as well as help with both tangible and intangibe needs, we started to notice a HUGE gap in the anti trafficking movement. As we built trust with these precious women they began opening up and sharing their horrifying details that are all too familiar. “89% of women in the commercial sex industry said they wanted to escape, but had no other means for survival” 70% of females who are trafficked are trafficked into the commercial sex industry” We began to see these statistics come alive. These precious women were wanting out.  One of the many gaps is housing for these precious women. There are less than 200 beds for women 18+ in the USA ,while Human Trafficking is the second largest crime. In my opinion it's probably number one because many being held captive we don't know about. I will have someone wanting out and franticly start trying to find a bed. Sometimes we will find one (mostly out of state) and many times we don't. When we can't find somewhere they go back to their captor. I knew we had to do something and we started praying for a house. We were recently donated a house to use but that's only half the battle, after researching I have learned it will cost us close to $200,00.00 to run it annually. I have included an image that breaks down an estimate of what it will cost to run this home annually.

This will be a twelve month, three-phase program. For some precious women we serve it could be longer. We will treat each woman on an individual basis. We are aware everyone heals differently and this won't be a cookie cutter program. There are only two homes in the Greater Tampa Bay Area for women who have been sexually exploited/trafficked.

You can be a part of ensuring we have a place for these women to go and begin to restore their lives. This home will house 6 women. We will not go above that number as we want this to feel like a family atmosphere. This will be 6 more open beds for these precious women to be free! Please share this and help us. We would love to be able to open as soon as possible. Right now there is a house waiting to be used but we have a lot of money to raise. 

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http://www.wtsp.com/mobile/article/news/sex-drugs-and-blackmail-tampa-sex-trafficking-victim-tells-her-story/67-509638513

Please check out this story done last night! We are in desperate need for funding to have 8 more beds available for women 18+ who have been sexually exploited/ sex trafficked! There are currently less than 200 beds nationwide. Help us save lives
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We were chosen as the Charity for a relator networking event in Tampa. We were able to meet many people but still need funding to make this happen. Any amount helps and please share with those you know!

Anti-human trafficking month! We are proud to be apart of helping the community and spreading awareness about local issues that need to be addressed! Thank you Christa and Chris for being apart of my event! Christa was featured on @wfla and @great38tampabay yesterday! This warms my heart to see people take an interest in making a difference. We bring in all cultures to come together for a way to build a better community and a safer tomorrow @christalywyaa
My book "No Safe Place" my journey
Human Trafficking Symposium
Great 38 WTTA sharing on safehouse
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Please check out this story that points out Tampa as being one of the largest hubs for Human Trafficking. We are in desperate need to open this home. It will house 8 women 18+ who have been sex trafficked/sexually exploited. There are less than 200 beds for women 18+ in the USA . If I knew there was a place like this when I was in, I would have been free a lot sooner than 20 yrs http://www.fox13news.com/news/307558798-video

According to a report from the anti-human trafficking group, Polaris - illicit spas and massage parlors are operating in every state in the US, with Tampa near the center of it all.

According to its report, Polaris says Tampa has one of the highest numbers of those illegal operations.

In an effort to crack down, the city recently passed a revamped bath house ordinance aimed at strictly regulating spas to weed out any illegal activity.


“It is bigger than most people can imagine,” said Rochelle Keyhan, with Polaris. “The clauses in that ordinance are very strong so long as it's enforced. Tampa is really paving the way."

The report reveals a booming, $2.5 billion a year industry thriving on the underground sex trade.

Christa Hernandez spent 20 years in that world. She now helps other women going through what she endured through her organization, Loving You Where You're At.

“It is horrible. There [are] unspeakable things happening. They're having to do unspeakable things with these customers,” she said.


“I think we have to take it further and get it to where the buyers are made to register like sex offenders. If they were made to register like sex offenders that would put a huge dent in this crime,” she said.
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We are finally in the construction phase for our safe house for sex trafficking victims. We had a wall to make an opening in and a couple of walls to put up. Our next need is furnishing and decorating as well as funding to be able to get liability insurance and a staff. We are hoping to have it opened by the end of April. Check out some recent local news stories done from inside. Here are some links to some media we have done recently on what we are doing and the HUGE need for this house

http://www.wtsp.com/news/local/turning-pain-into-action/509635099

Bobbi with 10 news getting footage
Getting to help tear down walls
Our team member Lauren sharing
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$620 of $200,000 goal

Raised by 6 people in 12 months
Funds raised will benefit:
Loving You Where You Are At, Inc
  Certified Charity
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Riverview, FL
EIN: 471357198
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