Amy Rouleau spoke with us today about her work with Restoration Place, a project to address the issue of sex trafficking in this area. Although most of us may not see this as a visible and significant problem, 300,000 children are caught up in this nationally, and Michigan ranks #2 in the United States in the cases, behind only Nevada, where prostitution is legal! Barriers to resolving this problem include border management, transportation, communication, and coordination. In addition to providing educational material and support (informing students and community organization of the precursors, means, hazards, and available resources associated with the trafficking, Restoration Place is hoping to house 8 residents, ages 11-17 years. Remix, a related service, provides support to 16-24 year olds who may be homeless and engaging in “survival sex” on the streets while believing themselves to be criminals rather than victims of sexual exploitation. To generate funds for the building of a shelter outside the oversight of pimps and abusive family members, two annual fundraisers have been scheduled, but the costs (given DHS licensing requirements, size and placement concerns, and supportive service availability) are high and DHS support cannot be counted on to offset per diem costs until the residence is up and running.
If anyone wants more information (for a service club meeting, class, etc.), Amy will cheerfully accommodate.
President Jeff Dennings opened the day’s meeting of 16 participants with the usual Pledge of Allegiance, followed by Jack Proffitt’s prayer that we would be on our best behavior. Part of the motivation for this request was that we were joined today by Jane Wensko (teacher at Swartz Creek High School and sponsor/mentor of the new JOOI club) and Carol Dennings (student at SCHS and JOOI club member).
Phil Holmblade won a small 50/50 pot (What happened with all those dimes I put in?) before introducing our guest speaker, Amy Rouleau.
Reminders of the evening Board meeting at the Bridge, to sell “31-Day Raffle” tickets before the drawings start in July, that the Club donated $400 to sponsor participants in this year’s Hamilton CANUSA games, and to consider ordering Optimist Club shirts (Dave Crabill will send an email re: this) were announced before Judge Joe Farah tested his memory by introducing the Creed to end the meeting.
Until next time,