The Covering House has been deeded a 17-acre facility with 16 beds to support victims of child sex trafficking.
To meet Missouri’s standards for youth residential services, it is seeking to raise $4.1 million for repairs to the building. Its current facility has five residential beds.
“Our whole goal is to help our youth not only just reclaim their voice in society but reacclimate to society as well as be able to find a life worth living,” Covering House executive director Sherrita Allen told The Missouri Times.
Its 12-15 month program, COVER Care, offers long-term residential housing with comprehensive therapeutic support for girls 12-18 who have been victims of sex trafficking in the U.S. After the program, the organization offers survivors further community-based care.
The Covering House has raised $1.2 million towards its goal. Allen credited community support and bipartisan efforts from officials for their progress.
“We have received a lot of support federally from [Congresswoman] Ann Wagner, who has been a champion for us; Sen. Angela Walton Mosely, as well as her husband, Rep. Jay Mosely, have been huge advocates for us,” Allen said.
Additionally, the group offers experimental learning, including classes on financial stability, nutrition education, and Bible study.
“[We] compel them to go from being a victim to survivor to thriver to warrior where they are able to advocate not only for themselves but others who have been in the situation,” Allen said.
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James Turner studies political science at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Previously, he was a legislative intern for the Associated Students of the University of Missouri. James is a native of Ferguson, Missouri.