From 2009-2011, more than 70 places of worship from across the nation combined their fundraising efforts and generated $2.5 million in initial support for StreetLightUSA®. We are deeply grateful to these churches of many different denominations whose members have shown their compassion and their faith that, together, we can apply national resources to save the lives of these girls.
MISSION STATEMENT AND WHAT WE DO
Our mission can be summed up in three words: Stop Child Rape
StreetLightUSA® Center for Excellence and Treatment has redefined its three-tier strategy of Awareness, Prevention, and Direct Care. We are a national leader in researching, assessing and piloting healing methods. Our residential program incorporates these healing methods into the care of the girls.
Through our Ambassadors for Change Program, we bring national Awareness to the sex trafficking and exploitation of minors by engaging the public in grassroots efforts to implement positive change.
Prevention efforts include partnering with universities and subject matter experts to develop healing programs, piloting best practices through our Direct Care residential program, and evaluating the outcomes to maximize success. Additionally, we work with branches of the United States justice system to protect children from further sexual exploitation. We also cooperated with legal professionals to assist girls residing at StreetLightUSA®’s residential center in restoring their path towards a brighter future.
Direct Care services, through our residential program, provide a healing and safe environment for girls age 11-17 who have been rescued from sex trafficking throughout the United States.
We partner with private corporations, public law makers, law enforcement, human services, and faith-based organizations to assist community coalitions focused on preventing further exploitation of children across the United States. Through community collective impact, we are interrupting the childhood story of girls who are victimized by the sex trade and perpetrators posing as individuals who care. We are helping girls find a new way forward so they can become independent, confident and successful young women.
In 2007, a group of individuals became aware of the growing pandemic of child sex trafficking occuring throughout the United States as well as abroad. This group began asking a series of “what if” questions:
- What if we could build a national model that could become built an example for market place leaders, city decision makers, young people, churches, faith-based and non-profit organizations to work together to eradicate child sex trafficking?
- What if one of our greatest testimonies to society became a unified, loving effort that not only talked about issues of injustice but also helped to solve one?
In response, we developed a dynamic case study of the potential for solving problems through multi- sector cooperation. Our collaboration has grown to include major law enforcement agencies (from local vice units to State and US Attorneys General), Mayor’s offices, like-minded non-profits, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children,the FBI, the Human Trafficking Executive Council, students and faculty of leading universities, and thousands of individuals zealous to play a role in eradicating this injustice.
We have developed a three-tier structure to holistically address child sex trafficking through Awareness, Prevention and Direct Care. To foster Awareness, StreetLightUSA® is informing a variety of audiences about the realities of commercial child sex trafficking in our backyards. The Branded Film and movement were created for this purpose. Branded is a well-known documentary and experiential screening that has reached tens of thousands of people through education, social networking, and public speaking engagements.
Prevention involves working with state legislators to pass tougher laws protecting children from sexual exploitation. Here’s just one example. StreetLightUSA® and the Center for Arizona Policy joined forces to craft legislation increasing penalties from a misdemeanor to a class two felony for anyone seeking to engage in solicited sex with a prostituted child. In the Spring of 2010, House Bill 2238 was approved by the Arizona State Senate, which strengthens Arizona Law to better protect minors who are being raped for profit.
In November of 2009, StreetlightUSA® was granted 501 (c) 3 status and began the purchase of a facility to build a safe and healthy place for rescued girls to reside. At capacity, the Direct Care facility will house up to 48 female victims of child sex trafficking. The property is strategically located in Phoenix, Arizona on five acres with many amenities, including six cottages arranged in a peaceful neighborhood setting on an enclosed, gated campus.