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Southern Christian Services for Children and Youth, Inc., a non-profit organization that serves and equips vulnerable children and youth, plans to open “Sunrise Home” for adolescent girl survivors of human trafficking.

Jamie Himes, President & CEO of Southern Christian says, “In response to the love of Christ and the on-going request from law enforcement, Southern Christian Services for Children and Youth is using this funding to create Mississippi’s first safe home exclusively for adolescent survivors of human trafficking. This project would not be possible without the legislature’s funding through the Attorney General’s human trafficking grant and collaborations with Mississippians Against Human Trafficking and Sunnybrook Children’s Home. This safe home will allow young survivors to receive specialized and evidenced-based therapeutic services in an undisclosed location for up to 2 years. Southern Christian is grateful for the opportunity to create a new program for Mississippi’s children.”

Sunrise Home offers a renovated and furnished six-bedroom home, that is slated to open Spring of 2023. Sunrise Home will provide a safe place, along with 24-hour care and therapeutic services for adolescent girls. Southern Christian uses evidence based therapeutic interventions in all our programs, and the Sunrise Home is no different.

Services include Individualized Treatment Planning, Trauma Therapy and Safety Planning, Group Day Treatment, Specialized Education Treatment, Community Reintegration, Transitional Living Services, Personal Advocacy, and Case Management. Sunrise Home will be a safe haven of restoration and recovery with full access to medical care and therapeutic services for residents.

Noreen Davidson, Director of Residential Care for Southern Christian explains,

The home is exclusively for adolescent survivors of sexual exploitation from trafficking. This is a long-term, residential, therapeutic home for girls aged 12-19, but we only offer admission for similar aged youth. All the girls living at Sunrise will be in within 2 years of age from one another. Cultural sensitivity is always included in our work, and we will use a victim-centered approach with trauma informed practices, and empowering language which moved our girls away from seeing themselves as victims to understanding they’re survivors.”

An adult survivor of human trafficking states,A program for youth is important because kids in this type of situation turn to the next person willing to say they’re going to help or give them something better than what they have. Or they go to jail for something they didn’t have any option other than doing the best they could. We make the best out of what we have when we don’t have any other choice. Kids have a voice…let it be used to do better for themselves and others. Just like adults listen to adults, kids deserve the same respect.”

Mississippians Against Human Trafficking Board President, Lindsey Simmons states, “Human trafficking is a huge problem around the world, and Mississippi is no exception. Currently, there are no specialized places for these children to go when they are found. They often end up back on the street and back in the cycle of abuse. These victims require intense therapy and treatment that is different from what is offered in a typical group home setting. Southern Christian Services has stepped up to fill this gap in services and answer the call to serve these children. We are so grateful for their willingness to jump into this fight against human trafficking and to work with some of Mississippi's most vulnerable children.

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Southern Christian Services for Children and Youth, Inc. is a non-profit organization that serves and equips vulnerable children and youth, assisting them in the process of becoming members of society. We provide Therapeutic Residential Care, Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Services, Permanency Services and Trauma Counseling. Our goal is to stand in the gap between need and wholeness, striving to help children and youth overcome the barriers created by poverty, neglect, and abuse.

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