Goshen non-profit opens new unit for Indiana human trafficking victims
“You don’t understand.. until the kids are telling you just how bad it can be for them,” said Sean McCrindle, Vice President of Program Operations at Bashor Children’s Home.
More than 178 children were identified as human trafficking victims in the state of Indiana in 2016 according to the Indiana state report on human trafficking.
“They may have run away from home and so with some of the girls situations, people have said ‘yea we’ll take care of you’ but then they find out they’re in a situation where they’re trapped and they have to make really difficult choices in order to survive,” said McCrindle.
There are currently fewer than a dozen organizations across the state that provide services for those victims.
“As they’ve gone to places for help, they’ve gotten people to kind of give up on them… over and over again,” said McCrindle.
But Bashor Children’s Home in Goshen is working to fight those numbers. A unit just opened on its campus Thursday afternoon to provide services for teen girls who have been subjected to sexual abuse or human trafficking.
“We started talking with local community leaders, regional and statewide and found that this is an issue that’s becoming more and more prevalent and then we started to look around and saw that there was a big gap of need for services for these kids,” said McCrindle.
Already housing two, the unit will provide services for a total of six to eight teenage girls with ‘round-the-clock intensive care to help with the trauma those teens face.
“Staff awake 24 hours a day with the girls. Very intensified treatment groups, individual therapy, family therapy,” said McCrindle.
McCrindle says they’ve had three additional inquiries about their new services, so they hired additional staff to the help get the girls get back on their feet.
“We have staff here who will say, ‘I’m not giving up.’ It’s not just being safe but later being able to work through the trauma that you sustained and get your life back on track is really kinda the big focus of it,” said McCrindle.
He says, after taking a look, they were budgeted to lose about $200,000 a year through this program, so it was either they wait until funds were raised, or take the risk and continue raising funds through the community and per diem funding and figure out the rest later. They say because of the need for this type of facility, they went with taking the risk.