New shelter will help human trafficking victims heal in southern Alabama

ALABAMA (WKRG) – The problem is spreading nationwide, but near us, major highways and highways make Alabama a hot spot for human trafficking.

“All over our state, north and south. 65 and 10, 85. All the major highways where girls are taken from town to town, ”said Chris Ziebach, founder of Camille Place.

The group is a non-profit organization that provides shelter and assistance to victims of trafficking. She and her longtime friend Amanda Luker quit their day jobs to build a house where the victims can heal.

“What we are seeing is because there are so few households in the country, the waiting list may be 100,” she said.

It has been six years, but construction of the new shelter has started. It is located in rural southern Alabama, where the needs are great.

“Right now, if we were open, we would be full,” Luker said.

The organization receives a helping hand from churches and volunteers across the Southeast. Many have donated materials and time to build a place where victims feel safe. The Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force reports that 80 percent of victims are women.

“I think the last tally I had, we had eight different states involved. Men from eight different states, ”said Donis McWaters, who helps with the construction. He serves with Men and Women of Action of Alabama.

“At the moment, we are putting up plasterboard. It should be done by Wednesday, ”said Luker, who gave WKRG News 5 a tour of the 10,000 square foot project on Monday.

The goal is to open the new facility in early 2022. Organizers say the multi-billion dollar human trafficking industry is not slowing down and construction on the building cannot be completed soon enough.

“Trafficking is now # 1, I think it has finally overtaken drugs, as the # 1 illegal crime in the world. It is the most profitable. You can sell marijuana once, but you can sell a child multiple times, ”Luker said.

The group sees an increase in cases with children over the past two years. Organizers say it has a lot to do with kids using social media and the internet, giving predators easy access without a red flag going off.

The exact location of the new shelter is not announced to ensure all victims remain protected. Clothing and assistance will be provided to victims upon entering the shelter.


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