The Department of Human Services funds several organizations to provide emergency, transitional and permanent housing for sexually exploited youth. These organizations work with the Regional Navigators and other community partners to safely house sexually exploited youth and address their unique housing needs. Shelter and housing are designed with:
- On-site supportive services
- Appropriate security
- Assistance from survivors of sex trafficking
- Collaboration with law enforcement and juvenile justice systems.
The following agencies are hosting shelter and housing for sexually exploited youth:
The Link: The Link provides support to at-risk youth in the Twin Cities through programs reaching out to youth and families when truancy, homelessness, or involvement in the juvenile legal system is putting youth at risk of not reaching their fullest potential. The Link provides case management services to youth who are truant, homeless or in trouble with the law through a Self-Sufficiency Support for Youth Experiencing Homelessness, Positive Alternatives in Juvenile Justice, and Programming for Minor Victims of Sex Trafficking programming.
The Link has 6 emergency shelter beds (up to 90 days) for ages 13-17 and 5 transitional housing units (longer term stay) ages 16-24 for females, males, and transgender youth. The housing units can also serve parenting youth with one child.
- Brittany’s Place - Safe and Sound: A Shelter for Girls: Brittany’s Place, a shelter for sexually exploited and trafficked young women and girls ages 10-17 opened on August 1, 2014. This shelter is a 14-bed facility offering short-term shelter, and long-term residential housing in a safe and healing environment. Our culturally responsive programming focuses on increasing self-esteem, education on sexual violence, safety techniques, self-confidence, living skills, de-programming and other therapeutic services. It is our goal to reduce violence incidents, encourage young women to be the masters of their own destiny, and to educate the community on the seriousness and reality of this epidemic. Through partnerships with organizations like (MCRC) Midwest Children’s Resource Center, 180 staff will assist girls served to secure longer-term housing while continuing to provide holistic/supportive services.
- Tubman: Tubman In addition to existing emergency shelter and community support for young victims, Tubman will open transitional housing and services to 16 and 17 year olds and their children (if parenting) in March of 2016. We will offer individual and group support as well as resources to help with safety, basic needs, school, parenting, legal, financial, spiritual, social, emotional, recreational, leadership, career and other self-identified goals.
Heartland Girls Ranch: Heartland Girls’ Ranch is a working ranch and group home licensed by the Department of Corrections for girls ages 12-21 providing housing, supportive services, mental health and chemical dependency support, equine therapy and a dedicated school for girls who have been sexually exploited/trafficked.
Heartland Girl’s Ranch has 8 transitional (longer term stay) beds for females ages 12-17.
Life House: Life House Safe Harbor Program provides a continuum of care for underage male, female, and gender non-conforming victims of commercially sexually exploited youth. We partner with Safe Haven Shelter to provide two emergency shelter beds (up to 90 days) for youth ages 11-17.
Life House also operates Sol House, a 5-bedroom transitional housing option (up to 2 years) for 16-17 year-old victims of commercially sexually exploited youth.
Both programs offer immediate access to emergency needs, 24 hour supportive supervision and comprehensive case management services in education and employment, trauma informed therapy, substance abuse counselling and more.
- Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota: Saving Grace, located in the Brainerd Lakes Area, offers outreach and specialized foster care program for victims of sex trafficking under the age of 18. Youth will receive intensive case management by a trained case manager to ensure youth’s needs are being addressed while having a safe home environment in a specialized foster home. Foster parents will be trained in Trauma Informed Care principles as well as training regarding Sex Trafficking and the Safe Harbor/No Wrong Door Model. Youth can be referred 24/7 via Youth Services Hotline: 1-866-824-3770. Outreach services will include outreach to at-risk youth and professionals who may come in contact with potential trafficking victims. Saving Grace is currently being developed and anticipates being open January 1, 2016.