In a few months, Leah Kimble-Price will open the house she has been planning with her team—a home in Oakland that will serve sex-trafficked teenagers. As Kimble-Price sits in her office, she talks about her vision for the home. It will be a safe and loving place where girls can heal from trauma. It will address their physical and emotional needs with a staff trained in serving commercially sexually exploited children (CSEC). It will be different from other shelters because girls will be able to stay long-term in a place that has most of the services they will need. It will be called Claire’s House, and it will be the first of its kind in the Bay Area.
Kimble-Price wants to make sure that the home is “youth led,” meaning that teenagers will be able to choose their educational setting, sit in on the program council and run the resident advisory board. “I don’t want to replicate their experience with their trafficker, which often happens in recovery programs,” says Kimble-Price.