As Kimble-Price sits in her office, she talks about her vision for the home. It will be a safe and loving place where girls can heal from trauma. It will address their physical and emotional needs with a staff trained in serving commercially sexually exploited children (CSEC). It will be different from other shelters because girls will be able to stay long-term in a place that has most of the services they will need. It will be called Claire’s House, and it will be the first of its kind in the Bay Area.
Kimble-Price wants to make sure that the home is “youth led,” meaning that teenagers will be able to choose their educational setting, sit in on the program council and run the resident advisory board. “I don’t want to replicate their experience with their trafficker, which often happens in recovery programs,” says Kimble-Price. Many trafficked teens come from situations in which their trafficker controlled every moment and every decision, from what their favorite color was and how they like their eggs cooked, to who they would sleep with and when and if they could go home. Kimble-Price wants to give these young people agency, even if it means that they decide to leave. “I am expecting to have girls climbing out the window and running down the hill. It just comes with the territory, and they are welcome to come back,” she says.
While Oakland has many service providers for children recovering from sexual exploitation, few offer them a safe place to sleep at night if they are able to leave their trafficker. Currently, there are 12 beds for all homeless youth in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. None of those beds are exclusively for CSEC, and none of them are for long-term placement. “At Claire’s House, they can stay as long as they need to,” says Kimble-Price.
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY & CULTURE | WASHINGTON, DC
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution. (Website).