Dr. Julie Strentzsch and Gail Ribalta of Roy Maas Youth Alternatives discussed how the organization is combating child sex trafficking in Bexar County.
An estimated 79,000 children in Texas are victims of sex trafficking. The Roy Maas Youth Alternatives’ Centro Seguro provides services and a safe place for young victims of sex trafficking.
After opening its doors in October 2018, Centro Seguro became the first 24/7 drop-in center in Texas.
La Puerta opened one year ago in late January of 2019 to house children of sex trafficking.
“By having shelter dollars we can now hold on to these children for up to 90 days,” RMYA CEO Bill Wilkinson said, “which gives us a much better chance at working on them on placement options, therapeutic options and providing them with the resources they need to escaped this life.”
In the shelter’s first year of opening, 60% of children seen were girls and 40% were young boys. The shelter helped about 100 victims from October through December of 2018 alone.
The RMYA Family Counseling and Resource Center is on 3103 West Avenue. Their phone number is 210-340-7971.
The 24-hour hotline number is (210) 340-8090.
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