The Therapeutic Impact Classroom
The Secret Place Home Inc.
Founded in 2018, The Secret Place Home is the first Safe House north of Orlando and is a Safe House-Safe Harbor home for female child survivors of human trafficking, licensed through the Department of Children and Families. Its mission is to provide a home for girls ages 12-17 who are survivors of human sex trafficking, giving them a place to heal, regain dignity and obtain necessary services. Florida ranks third in the nation for the number of human trafficking reports, and many victims are children between 12 and 14 years of age. Their level of abuse and trauma is frequently so severe that it requires specialized care provided by a residential Safe House program. The Secret Place Home, located at an undisclosed location situated on ten acres of land, is a faith-based place for girls to find normalcy, to gain trust and find purpose. The home provides medical and dental care, individual and group therapeutic counseling, continued education including mentoring from survivors of sex trafficking, life skills, art, music, community garden and sports environments. On average, 5 girls participate in the program for seven to nine months before returning to their biological families or being placed with a specialized therapeutic foster family.
The proposed project will provide girls aged 12-17 from Santa Rosa, Escambia, Okaloosa, and Walton counties who are victims of human sex trafficking a therapeutic, hands-on approach to education within our local community and culture. The Therapeutic Impact Classroom allows one-on-one learning as well as individualized and group therapy. IMPACT 100 funds will be used for a new Chevrolet Tahoe LT SUV, warranty, maintenance, tinted windows, roof racks, and insurance for transporting the girls to the off-site Therapeutic Classroom as well as field trips to supplement the educational experience of the students. Laptop computers, smart board and accessories, printers, desks, chairs, lockers, cabinets, art supplies, musical instruments, and classroom supplies will be purchased to outfit the Classroom. A specialized educational setting with educators trained to work with this special at-risk population will lessen the likelihood of exposure to triggers and overstimulating environments that can hinder a victim’s progress and overall rehabilitative success. The Santa Rosa Virtual Academy curriculum combined with hands-on learning experiences will serve as the foundation of the girls education. Materials will be provided to support age-appropriate academic subjects such as Science, History, Math, and Language classes. Opportunities to explore the arts, with music lessons, theater, and writing, as well as physical education will be provided.
With the IMPACT 100 grant, The Secret Place Home will fulfill the State of Florida Safe Harbor-Safe House requirements of having a vehicle to transport the girls to and from the learning center as well as providing the education and therapy/counseling services they need. The Secret Place Home will create healthy experiences for learning in a safe, off-site, therapeutic environment. These girls, who may never have had the chance to finish school, may actually graduate. Furthermore, with the help of The Secret Place Home and its partners, these girls will become self-sustaining, happy, and productive members of our community. By offering a transportation vehicle, curriculum from Santa Rosa Virtual School, a functional classroom, music and art lessons, therapeutic office setting, and access to local educational-based field trips, the organization can provide a continuum of care, age-appropriate academics, and opportunities for extracurriculars. The greater impact will be on the surrounding community by building relationships, spreading awareness of human trafficking, and providing business owners, community members, and volunteers a way to be an answer for the child victims of sex trafficking.