Gaye Clark | WORLD News Service | Friday, April 08, 2016
Chris and Anna Smith, who are poised to open the first safe house in the United States for sex trafficked boys, didn’t set out to be trailblazers. They founded their Christian ministry, Restore One, in 2012, hoping to open a facility for girls in Greenville, N.C.
Anna, a sex trafficking survivor, worked as an intern at a similar facility, Hope House, in Asheville, N.C. When Hope House founder Emily Fitchpatrick learned the Smiths wanted to open a home, she asked them to consider taking in boys.
“That wasn’t something we wanted to pioneer,” Anna Smith told me.
Then the Smiths heard Tina Frudt, human trafficking survivor and founder of Courtney’s House, describe the plight of boys who came to her program.
“There are no places that boys can go,” Frudt told The Daily Reflector.
According to one study, as many as 50 percent of sexually exploited minors are males and yet there are few resources for them, including residential treatment facilities.
“That’s when we said yes to boys,” Anna said.
The Smiths named the home Anchor House, and trials immediately weighed it down.
The first property they found was too small to accommodate the facility. They had to turn down free property fromAnna’s father because it would cost an estimated $150,000 to clear the trees. Another location in neighboring Beaufort County failed percolation tests, making it unsuitable for building.
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