Boulder City nonprofit to break ground on facility for child sex trafficking victims

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – A nonprofit in Boulder City announced that it will break ground on a break ground later this month on a facility that will help children who are victims of sex trafficking.

In what it’s calling a “first-of-its-kind” facility, St. Jude’s Ranch for Children will break ground on its Healing Center campus on Oct. 25.

St. Jude’s says the Healing Center campus will provide “safe therapeutic homes and a specialized nurturing recovery program for children who have been forced or manipulated into having sex for money.”

As part of program, St. Jude’s notes that the Healing Center will feature ground-up residences, holistic treatment options, survivor advocates, trauma-sensitive design and an on-site school, run by the school district, that is dedicated specifically to this population to support healing.

“Child sex trafficking has devastating consequences for its victims, including long-lasting physical and psychological trauma, disease, and even death,” said St. Jude’s Ranch for Children Chief Executive Officer Dr. Christina Vela. “Through the creation of the Healing Center on our flagship campus in Boulder City, Nevada, we will be able to address every facet of the recovery process, while providing a safe space in which they can heal, and while still participating in fundamental parts of childhood, including going to school and creating happy, positive experiences.”

St. Jude’s says that the Healing Center will comprise 10 acres of land, featuring “individual therapeutic homes to help a growing victim population that has nowhere else to turn for holistic treatment and housing options.”

“Welcome to the future home of the healing center. This entire 10 acres is going to be transformed into a place of healing,” St. Jude’s CEO Christine Vela told FOX5′s John Huck previously. Vela said the healing center is the best and only hope to break the cycle of child exploitation.

According to St. Jude’s, the one-story homes will mimic a neighborhood setting, with walking paths and extensive landscaping, designed to foster a sense of safety.

“Therapy offices and outside areas will encourage transformation through connection to nature, while additional plans call for a multi-purpose building to include an on-site school, meeting space, library, computer lab, and a yoga and meditation room,” the nonprofit says.

St. Jude’s says that its Healing Center masterplan design and construction costs are estimated at $25 million. The group says it has received more than half of the funds raised through donations and pledges.

According to St. Jude’s, the Clark County School District has approved $5 million to build the school that will be located on Healing Center campus.

St. Jude’s says that construction on the Healing Center campus is expected to be completed by spring of 2024. The facility is expected to be open for residents by next summer.

For more information, visit: