LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Sex trafficking is an issue in Texas and across the country, but particularly here on the South Plains.
KCBD Investigates has been taking a closer look at this problem and what’s being done to solve it. Ahead of our special investigates report Monday evening, tonight we take a look at a new organization aiming to help young survivors.
Hillary Cobb is the executive director of One Voice Home. Dacia Hamby is the programs director. They’re working on a facility right here on the South Plains, as soon as they can get through the licensing and development process.
Cobb said, “There are 79,000 minors that are in trafficking in Texas alone.”
But what’s happening to these young children? Most have been “groomed” or “brainwashed” by their captors to have sex for money.
Cobb said, “What we say is that ‘we don’t have to do the same thing, but we can all do something and do something to end what is going on here in Lubbock, Texas and in the United States of America.’”
Cobb and Dacia Hamby will be directors at a new facility helping young survivors who were lucky enough to break free but need help to re-start their lives.
"Within that 79,000, there are less than 100 beds for them to come to, to recover,” Cobb said.
There are four of these types of homes in the South Texas area and another one in Dallas. Lubbock’s home will be the sixth location.
Cobb said, “They said ‘we’ve gotta do something here. like something. it’s going on in the United States. it’s going on in West Texas. what can we do?’ so they kind of sat on that for actually a couple of years and then there were three other ladies that joined into that and they burst out One Voice Home."
The local home will be for girls age 11 to 18. There will be 12 beds available, but they’ll start off helping a handful of girls at first.
“One Voice Home will be a state-licensed therapeutic faith-based home. it’s a safe home for Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST) victims to come to experience a new beginning and experience a holistic healing process” Cobb said.
They want survivors to know they’re not alone.
Hamby said, “We are going to give them every kind of resource we can muster to make sure that they can come out okay, that that they can go out and make a difference and reach people that we won’t be able to reach because they’ve gone farther than we’ve ever gone in the realm of sex trafficking.”
The facility will be on several acres of West Texas land, giving the girls an opportunity to be free.
Cobb said, “They don’t know what freedom feels like, so they can experience so much healing just from being in a free environment in an environment they feel comfortable - an environment they feel safe. That is a huge part of their healing process, that ability to know when I walk outside these doors, there’s open air and I can breathe it because I’m free.”