Center for teen trafficking victims in Georgia to open next week

Boys, girls, and transgender individuals between the ages of 12-17 will have a place to get immediate mental and physical care.

PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. — Metro Atlanta remains a human trafficking hub in the United States.

Georgia reported more than 200 cases of human trafficking in 2019, and more than one-forth of them were minors.

Some of Georgia’s most vulnerable youth will soon have a new place to call home once they are rescued.

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The new Receiving Hope Center is set to open its doors next week in Paulding County.

It promises to be the first residential intake facility for young survivors of sex trafficking.

Boys, girls, and transgender individuals between the ages of 12-17 will have a place to get immediate mental and physical care.

“They are not the criminals. They are the survivors,” program coordinator Maggie Jackson said. “We’re bringing such a holistic approach, working with our participants all under one roof, so that we cannot retraumatize them.”

Jackson said it’s important that positive images are everywhere in the facility, which is run by the nonprofit Wellspring Living.

The young participants will be exposed to an environment of comfort, healing, and even classrooms with teachers and curricula.

The facility offers 20 beds.

Gov. Brian Kemp visited the center this week as part of his effort to prioritize the fight against “modern slavery.”