HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Houston has been fighting a never ending battle against the sex trade and now there's a new weapon on the battlefield.
Today Sojourn Landing officially opened for business..
"I think we're ready. We're ready. We're ready. The next few months we're going to concentrate on outreach to let people in the community know we exist." says co-founder Natasha Paradeshi.
The landing is the only drop-in center in the city for sex trafficking and sex trade victims. Here victims can get get everything from clothing, toiletries, a place to relax and of course, access to help and counseling in a safe, judgment-free environment.
We first told you about the center about a month ago. It was basically an empty office suite and had just just two staffers. Now the center is ready to go and staffed by approximately 20 trained and vetted volunteers. Today is a celebration of the progress.
While most long and short-term safe houses are in discrete locations, the landing is not. It's on the 6th floor of an office building in the 9800 block of Bissonnet.
That stretch of Bissonnet is called the track, a place where prostitutes are known to frequent. The idea is to be close to potential clients.
But will it work? Will they be able to reach out and help coax victims out of the life? Captain Dan Harris with HPD vice says yes. The staff has done it's homework looking at other centers around the country and there's clearly a need.
"I think this is great. I'd rather see this than having a woman arrested so I think this is great."
Because the fight is far from over..