St. Jude’s Ranch for Children is inviting the members of the community to a Neighborhood Meeting on Tuesday, September 18th from 6-8pm at their facility, 100 St. Jude’s Street in Boulder City (down the hill from Lakeview Drive, off Boulder City Parkway.)
The directors at St. Jude’s are looking to potentially expand their services, and they’ve got an additional 12 acres of land to use for that on their existing campus in Boulder City.
We asked for some additional information, and here’s what we found out. According to their Executive Director, Christina Vela, they would like to construct a healing center for children who have been victims of child sex trafficking. If you haven’t followed any of the news stories surrounding this tragic global situation, the numbers are pretty startling. A quick internet search led us to the Ark Of Hope for Children web site, where according to the United Nations back in 2012, over 20 million adults and children are trafficked globally, 1.5 million here in the US, and over 2 million children are subjected to some form of prostitution globally.
St. Jude’s is now looking to lend itself to this cause. According to Christina Vela, “This campus community would be designed to help a growing victim population that has nowhere else to turn. This specialized recovery program for child victims of sex trafficking and sexual assault would provide a nurturing and therapeutic environment along with survivor advocates and other critical services. This would serve as the only residential treatment community of its kind in Southern Nevada and one of the few in the entire country.”
For the past 52 years, St. Jude’s Ranch for Children has specialized in providing a safe environment for children who have been neglected and abused. At times they have had youths with this same background, although never focused on it specifically.
No work has begun on this project yet, and it is in the very early planning phases, so they are looking to hear from us in the community.
Ms. Vela says, “At the neighborhood meeting we will discuss why this is such a critical need and why we are qualified to help these victims. We will answer questions and would like to get feedback from the community before any building plans take place.” Additional information, and to send comments if you cannot attend the meeting, is on the flyer below. We’ll hope to see a good turnout.