Letter from the President & C.E.O.

Greetings,

Over the past two months, I have had the privilege to meet numerous survivors – current and former, listening to their stories of survivorship, pain, and hope has been humbling and a powerful reminder of the critical need to continue the fight against sexual violence, exploitation, and abuse of young women. More than ever the access to trauma-informed services for survivors is fundamental and greatly needed in our community. I hope that you will also feel inspired to fight against the commercial sex trafficking of youth by supporting our mission and advocating for social change.

I’m pleased to announce that The Texas Framework for Residential Care for Commercially Sexually Exploited Youth (CSEY) developed by Alexandria Guillen, Chief Program Officer, and Kayla Russell, Director of Case Management collaboratively with Dr. Kyle Miller and the Office of the Governor – Child Sex Trafficking Team has been completed. Full implementation of the framework in our programming is expected to begin as soon as November 1st. 2021.

The implementation of the Texas Framework will provide added value to our program with grantors, donors, board members, and community partners as Youth Center of Texas will sustainably provide best practices; holistic services to survivors of CSEY including the use of Evidence-Based Practices (EBP).

In addition, our program is set to receive its first federal grant – Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA) in October 2021 setting a precedent for future grant opportunities.

I would like to thank the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation for their continuous financial support and to Erin Barry, former Board Chair for her leadership. Special thanks to Alexandria Guillen, Chief Program Officer whose operational knowledge and peer support have been invaluable during this transition.

Regards,

Adriana McKinnon, President & C.E.O.


Survivor Stories

Anne

Anne is a survivor of child sex trafficking. Anne came into the Youth Center of Texas after being released from Brown County Jail. She was referred by Andrea Sparks, Director of the Child Sex Trafficking Team at the Governor’s Office.

During her time at our program, Anne received Trauma-informed and non-judgmental support from staff trained in Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®)while attending meetings with her Parole Officer in addition to transportation services to appointments and work and information and referrals to other agencies.

Anne’s immediate basic needs were met and she was provided with an individual bedroom with clean linens and a bed, clean clothing, toiletries, food, and daily access to showers. Anne worked with Case Managers to schedule appointments needed to obtain her official ID, application to receive Food Stamps and Medicaid. She also received assistance with opening a bank account and setting up her own cell phone plan.

Anne was successful in obtaining her official ID, received emergency food stamps and was approved for Women’s Medicaid. Anne was also able to secure employment at a nearby restaurant where she enjoyed being a server. Anne was surrounded with support from the center staff as well as outside advocates from Common Thread and from the Governor’s office.

Anne was also able to complete the Coordinated Entry application for housing. She was also connected to THRIVE which assisted further in providing her with her own apartment where she is able to live independently and enjoy the freedom of a life without violence.

Andrea

Andrea is a survivor of child sex trafficking and domestic violence. Andrea was referred to the Youth Center by Common Thread Advocate due to an unsafe living situation. Andrea had lost her job and her children were placed in Child Protective Services temporary conservatorship. Upon arrival at the Youth Center of Texas, the Case Managers provided Trauma-informed and non-judgmental support from staff trained in Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®) to Andrea in addition to meeting all her basic needs in a safe environment. Andrea was able to pick her own room and settle in.

During Andrea’s stay Case Managers assisted her with completing Nurturing Parenting Program® and obtaining official IDs for herself and her two children. Andrea also enrolled in a vocational school program, received assistance setting up wellness medical appointments and access to legal advocacy in addition to information and referral to other community partners such as NTX Level Youth Opportunity Center, Common Thread, San Antonio Threads, and Gabriel’s Project.

Andrea enrolled with Project Quest as a Patient Care Technician and will secure employment after graduation. Throughout Andrea’s journey at the Youth Center, two of her main goals were to gain back custody of her children and secure housing. The Case Managers have assisted her with step-by-step assistance to close out her case with Child Protective Services and assisted her with securing housing with San Antonio’s Rapid Re-Housing Program through UTSA.

Andrea left the Youth Center and transitioned into her own apartment almost six months after intake. Her assigned long-term case manager remains in communication with Andrea and continues to give her the same support she received while at the Youth Center of Texas.

Sandra

Sandra is a survivor of child sex trafficking. Resident entered Youth Center the day after her 18th birthday after she was no longer eligible for services at her former placement since she had reached the age of 18 and was considered to be an adult. Sandra was referred by her therapist at Freedom Place in Spring, Texas a Residential Treatment Center. The resident received a CSE-IT (Commercial Sexual Exploitation Identification Tool) screening upon intake.

Since her admission, Sandra has made a large array of progress, however, that did not come easy. The resident had to adjust to a new facility, staff, and city while transitioning from a teen into young adulthood. The process has been slow, steady, and difficult at times for the resident, however, with the use of Trauma-informed and non-judgmental support from staff trained in Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®) resident has been able to build rapport with all staff at Youth Center.

The resident has experienced a new insight as to what adulthood is and what all it entails. For the past 4 months, the resident has worked with other agencies including SA Leadership where she was able to complete her High School diploma with a GPA of 3.7 and is already thinking about college options. In addition to participating in life skills training through ConnectEd.

The resident is also working with Common Thread and her assigned advocate through STOP HTTF Task Force Against Human Trafficking Care Coordination meetings.

The resident has continued receiving mental health services including individual counseling services and group therapy from the Youth Center Licensed Professional Counselor Associate certified in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy® (CBT) and meeting with a psychiatrist for medication compliance. The resident has been actively working with her case manager weekly and discussing goals such as obtaining her Driver’s License and looking into volunteer opportunities at an animal shelter.


Year Two Statistics

Transitional Living Program Services Provided

  • Number of unduplicated survivors served: 14
  • Number of duplicated survivors served: 19
  • Total number of bed nights provided to survivors: 901
  • Total number of bed nights provided to pregnant survivors: 10
  • Total number of bed nights provided to survivor and baby: 103
  • Longest length of stay: 155 days
  • Average age of survivor: 19.2 years
  • Highest number of survivors self-returns: 6
  • Number of Legal Advocacy hours provided: 22

Number of times VOCA services were provided

  • Transportation: 497
  • Individual Advocacy: 288
  • Information and Referral to Community Resources: 106
  • Crisis Intervention: 221
  • Individual and group counseling: 121.5

Number of Support Groups and Programing: 279

(Financial Reports Maintained Separately)

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