The United States is ranked fifth in the nation for the highest number of human trafficking victims, but a Muskogee woman is hoping to change that by opening a residence for female victims.
The key works and the door opens, but there's a lot that needs to be done before it's ready.
"The kitchen, we're going to need to do quite a bit of work there," RISE Founder Keri Spencer said. "Working with kids has always been where my heart has been."
Spencer is taking that passion and the help of gracious donor to create a residence for female victims of sex trafficking.
"Just a month ago we had six girls in Tulsa who were at the juvenile detention center and didn't have a place to go," she said.
In July 2015, she created a nonprofit. It's called RISE, Restoring Identities after Sexual Exploitation.
"Somewhere in the neighborhood of 200,000 to 300,000 kids in the U.S. are at risked of being trafficked every year," Spencer said.
Spencer says it will cost $350,000 a year to run. 2 Works for You is not naming the location due to privacy.
"We want them to know that they're safe here," Spencer said.
"There is such a need throughout the entire country," donor Steve Strode said. "It really touched my heart and I'm just glad to be apart of it."
Tulsa resident Steve Strode bought the $200,000 building. He plans to help and see the $100,000 planned renovations.
"These kids have had their lives taken away from them and we are going to have the opportunity to get involved and get them away from that existence, that horror show they lived," he said.
Now the walls are empty, but before too long two phrases will appear.
"She believed she could so she did," Spencer said. "The other one is, 'There is no force equal to a woman determined to rise.'"
So as they leave, they'll know they are survivors.
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