We were sitting in 5 Points in Birmingham around 5:00 Friday night and she told me if we waited a few more hours, we would witness the reality of prostitution in Birmingham as prostitutes would be picked up for hire.
Tajuan McCarty is the founder of The WellHouse Inc.. The WellHouse serves as a safe haven for women rescued from sexual exploitation. Tajuan received a vision late last year to build the first known 24-hour emergency shelter in the nation for women that are victims of sexual exploitation.
Women are qualified to receive WellHouse services if they have been a victim of sexual exploitation. The WellHouse does not require ID or any other prerequisites, only that they have been victimized through sexual exploitation and want help. They are a transitional living facility that provides initial services such as basic-needs assistance and spiritual guidance. According to the individuals needs, they can receive substance abuse treatment, relocation services, job-skills training, and other possible services. The WellHouse currently has a variety of partnerships that help provide these services. Their most recent partnership is White Horse Inc. which will provide air transportation for victims across the nation to be brought to the shelter.
Women are referred to the shelter in a variety of ways, but perhaps the most personal way is by the visits that Tajuan and other volunteers make to Woodlawn to interact with the alarming population of prostitutes. Every week they travel to 1st Street North in Woodlawn to offer the love of Christ and a safe haven for the many women trapped in prostitution.
Woodlawn and 5 Points are not the only local locations of prostitution, but prostitutes are victimized all over the city of Birmingham and its surrounding areas. Tajuan spoke of three underground escort services that are in Birmingham; many of their clients are in Mountain Brook and Greystone. One of these escort services has existed for fifteen years.
The Links between Prostitution and Sex Trafficking breaks down how being prostituted is most often the same as being trafficked. Those that are considered consumers of prostitution, are therefore supporting sex trafficking. With the average age (in the U.S.) of girls forced into prostitution being 9 to 15 years old and hundreds of thousands of children and women victimized through sex trafficking; the demand/consumption of prostitution needs to end. And we must become aware of this reality and share it with others.
Supporting The WellHouse is a great way to bring help to these victims and also bring an end to sex trafficking in Birmingham. The WellHouse is just starting to grow and they have the potential to be the largest emergency shelter in the nation. Just a few of their needs are: Bibles, financial gifts, non-perishable foods, clothes, furniture, and dishes. They are also hosting a volunteer training March 6that 6:00 p.m. at 300 24thStreet South, Birmingham, AL 35233.
You may contact The WellHouse by calling them at (800) 991-0948 or e-mailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for there facebook page.
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Source: Lori Hereford, Birmingham Christian Living Examiner