St. Judes aims to help sex trafficking victims

St. Jude’s Ranch for Children is holding a neighborhood meeting next week to discuss expanding its Boulder City campus to help victims of sex trafficking.

The meeting will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, in Paulson Hall on its campus at 100 St. Jude’s St.

“St. Jude’s Ranch for Children is proposing an extension of our existing services on our current campus in Boulder City, with the construction of a healing center for child victims of sex trafficking,” said Executive Director Christina Vela. “This campus community would be designed to help a growing victim population that has nowhere else to turn. … We believe we can help these young victims heal and go on to be productive members of our community. We want to be that safe haven for them to escape the traumatic experiences they have had and be able to heal physically, emotionally and psychologically.”

Tuesday’s meeting will be a chance for the public to ask questions about the proposed facility and give feedback. There will also be a discussion about the need for the facility.

“This specialized recovery program for child victims of sex trafficking and sexual assault would provide a nurturing and therapeutic environment along with survivor advocates and other critical services,” Vela said. “This would serve as the only residential treatment community of its kind in Southern Nevada and one of the few in the entire country.”

People who want to send questions or who can’t attend may email them to

The meeting will be moderated by Kendall Tenney; light refreshments will be served.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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