The issue of child sex trafficking is drawing increased attention, and one organization is getting attention for their work on the problem. Even the FBI is relying on their services to help restore the young and innocent victims.
It's secluded, it's serene and it's safe...
“I mean if you look around here...there's just green everywhere and that's what I love about this home,” said Jennifer Terry, Program Director of Restore Her.
These safe homes are in a secret spot in the Brazos Valley...
“Restore her is a program that takes in girls age 7 to 17 who've been rescued out of human trafficking domestically in the U.S. or internationally,” said Terry.
Jennifer Terry is a Texas A&M Graduate and says she’s been living in one of two Restore Homes for the last year. She accepted a full-time position after graduating.
“I’ve always been passionate about human trafficking, and trying to find ways to raise awareness, especially while in school, and so one day I went to a meeting at Still Creek Ranch and the next day they offered me a full time job and I jumped at the opportunity,” Terry said.
Currently 33 kids and teens in crisis are being restored here; many as young as seven have been forced into a life of prostitution, sex and drugs, sometimes, by members of their own family.
“The FBI handles any human trafficking case in the U.S.,” said Director Steve Singleton. “When they find a case, they contact us and they bring the victims to us for the restoration.
Steve Singleton and his wife took over Still Creek Ranch in 2012; he says the FBI is reaching out to his program so frequently -- he's now got a waiting list.
“We have ten girls that we desperately need and the FBI is recommending to come to our program,” said Singleton. “When we first started this we were worried about our own safety, we were worried about the traffickers being a concern and coming after the girls, and as we started working with the FBI and dealing with the problem at the street level. The sad part is once a girl is rescued from human trafficking, she's typically replaced within 24 hours.”
“It is one of the most difficult things I think,” added Terry. “Intervention, prevention and awareness is amazing and a very vital part to the fight against human trafficking. I think the day in and day out of living with them is the most difficult pieces because it is daily, walking them through healing and walking them through the different places in their heart that's been shattered by people who were supposed to protect them.”
"We are in the heart of Seneca Nation,” said David Elizondo while sitting on his Harley in New York skyping with News 3 from his iPhone.
Brazos County resident and business owner David Elizondo has partnered with Restore Her to raise awareness and funds for the non-profits mission.
"We're riding in what's called the HokaHey Motorcycle Challenge,” Elizondo said.
Elizondo is on a quest to ride 7,500 miles across America in only seven days on his Harley Davidson.
"I called Jennifer at Restore Her and she told me they were trying to raise money to build another house to accept another 8 girls and that's how it started,” Elizondo added.
Friday morning the organization will break ground to begin building a new home that will provide a set of keys that will set the innocent victims free.
“We want them to know they've had the exact same opportunity as every single girl on this earth; they are cherished and valued,” said Terry.
David Elizondo will be taking off from New York on Sunday night. You can follow his journey and donate to support his 7,500 mile mission for the Restore Her program. You can find the links below.