John Brecher / NBC News

John Brecher / NBC News

Chris and Anna Smith’s search for a place to build the country’s first shelter for sex-trafficked boys ended in a field in eastern North Carolina, where the wild grass and a curtain of evergreens spoke of peace and freedom.

This land, they thought, was where young survivors might escape their horrors and rebuild their lives.

“I just knew, I just knew in my soul, that this was it — that we had found the property,” Anna Smith recalled.

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