Some local advocacy groups are teaming up to provide more resources for children who’ve been sex-trafficked. Right now, there’s not a lot out there to help them recover.
Shelley Repp is the director at Spoken For, a resource center in Albuquerque for survivors of human trafficking. She’s worked in the field for almost a decade and said there’s a glaring gap in services.
"There are zero beds dedicated to minors who are victims of sex trafficking in the entire state. Zero," Repp said.
Spoken For recently teamed up with the Dream Center and Casa Aliento. They’re looking to raise $1 million for a new shelter specifically for children and young people who’ve either been trafficked or are at risk of becoming homeless.
"We need to open a facility where we’ve got some beds for these freakin’ kids," she said.
In order to stay in most shelters, underage residents have to be signed in by a guardian or the state. Repp said their shelter would eliminate that requirement.
KUNM’s Public Health New Mexico project is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the McCune Charitable Foundation, and the Con Alma Health Foundation.