March 3, 2016, Vista, CA –At our March 3rd Collaborative meeting our guest speaker was Tina Paulson from FACESS (Freeing American Children from Exploitation and Sexual Slavery). FACESS runs a campus for trafficked girls at an undisclosed location up in Northern California. They repurposed 250 acres formerly used as a retreat site for an elite organization. They have 30 buildings and still have room to grow.
Paulson said they have an 85% success rate (girls that don’t return to “the life” after leaving) and a 100% success rate prosecuting the traffickers. They provide wrap-around care and girls are never kicked out, they can come back any time. They’ve taken girls as young as 9 but usually older. Their website is full of information about their program, it is at http://www.facess.org. This is as far as she knows the only facility of its kind in the United States, and the cost to run is enormous.
She emphasized that she is happy to share her Powerpoint presentation with any other organizations fighting trafficking, and to share her organization’s knowledge and contacts. FACESS encourages other similar organizations to ask them for help, testimonies from victims, case studies, list of referrals…”We want to supplement what you are doing,” she said.
Lavida Drvol (also of FACESS, and a former Soroptimist) was also at the meeting (she was our Soroptimist Club’s Program speaker in January) Lavida said we need your “time, talent and treasure.” Particularly, Calvary Chapel in Oceanside is ready to help, and Lavida suggested our Collaborative send one representative to Calvary meetings.
Paulson also mentioned that some of the girls get accepted to colleges like Pt. Loma and Biola and other Christian universities, but they need host families for housing the girls while they are attending college because putting them in a typical college dorm would put them at risk. For more information visit their website at facess.org
The Collaborative, which is organized by Kaye Van Nevel, meets every other month at 9 a.m. on the first Thursday of the month in the United Methodist Church of Vista’s community room. All are welcome, and coffee, bottled water and pastries are available. The next meeting is May 5th, speaker to be announced.