Courage House Northern California is not just a structure or building, a program or approach; it is a place where hope is given, healing is offered, and lives are restored. We believe it is never too late for an individual—especially a child—to be rescued and lovingly restored to a life filled with hope, purpose, and love.
Courage House Northern California opened on August 1, 2011. It is a state-licensed, long-term residential level 12 group home for six girls, ages 11–17, with plans to build ten cottages on the 50-acre property to accommodate sixty girls in the future. Courage House Northern California is located in an undisclosed, rural location.
Our Courage House facility and program is intentionally designed to provide a long-term home as opposed to an opportunity to graduate from a program. Statistics show the majority of the young women who are victims of sex trafficking do not have safe homes and loving families to return to once they have “graduated from the program.” Trauma specialists report that the time frame of just beginning to recover from this type of complex trauma takes a minimum of 4 to 5 years.
Our Northern California location provides a beautiful, serene setting that offers a comprehensive, holistic approach unique to each child, which encompasses her physical, emotional, educational, psychological, and spiritual needs. Focused trauma therapy, an on-site school, dance/music/arts studio, equestrian and riding program, as well as a variety of classes in social and life skills are offered to each girl so she is thoroughly equipped, encouraged, and empowered to begin the journey of healing and restoration.
Trafficking of Children in Northern California
Domestic sex trafficking of minors is a prominent and growing issue in the greater Sacramento area. Its location between Seattle and Las Vegas, and the short drive to the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as large cities in Southern California, make it a prime spot for the sale and trafficking of minors. In the last several years, a local FBI task force has recovered over 400 girls being sold for sex; the youngest was eleven years old. However, due to the fact that this is such a hidden crime, this number grossly understates the size of the problem.
Of the 400 girls rescued in the Sacramento area, a large percentage of them have no home, no family, and no services to support them. As late as 2009, there were only three homes for minor victims of sex trafficking in the United States with a total of 32 beds. Today, that number has grown to approximately ten homes totaling over 150 available beds, which isn’t even enough beds for the children rescued in just the Sacramento area. As of Oct 1, 2014 Courage Worldwide has said “No” to over 70 children who wanted to come home to Courage House. This is unacceptable! Find out how you can help us bring more girls home. Take Action
There have been no law enforcement calls or violent episodes for over 18 months at Courage House. All residents participate in multiple modules of therapy daily which provides them with healthy tools to manage their often volatile emotions and behaviors. GPA averages have increased from a 1.5 average when arriving at Courage House to a 3.0 after just three months of daily, consistent classroom time and individual one-on-one tutors. The home received a perfect audit from the state governing body and recently received model home status by a national certification organization. Five Courage House girls have graduated from high school, being the first in their families to do so and three enrolled in college, again being the first in their family to achieve this milestone. One former resident graduated from college, obtained a teaching certificate from a local college and has enrolled in a master’s program. One resident has been accepted into a vocational training program and living independently. Two testified against their perpetrator and saw a guilty verdict of forty-four years for one and a hundred and thirty-four for the other.
Currently, six residents call Courage House home where one just celebrated sixteen (16) months at Courage House with no attempts to run away, four will celebrate their nine (9) month stay in July 2014, again with no runaway attempts or violent behaviors. Each is on track in achieving the goals of their Unique Life Plan (ULP).
The Nor Cal expansion plans will provide a place for hundreds of other young victims to begin the process of restoration while experiencing these same types of milestones that can never be taken away from them.
Additional program successes:
- Courage House Nor Cal was selected to participate in a national mental health research study. This will be a three year ongoing qualitative and quantitative study with our residents’ progress.
- Mental health program evaluators are saying Courage House “has no peers” in the nation with regard to the level of care we are providing this victim population.
- CWW is being featured in a national documentary, produced by Grammy award winning singer/songwriter Natalie Grant and award winning film maker/director David Trotter, on the issue of domestic trafficking and our work with victims.
- CWW has remained in contact with 77% of residents who leave Courage House to support their progress in the community where we still provide case management and transition resources.
- CWW received a perfect program audit from the California Community Licensing Board who governs group homes in California. Resident incident reports are far below state and national averages (i.e. runaways, violent episodes, suicide attempts) for group homes.
Architectural renderings have been submitted to the county which calls for ten (10) cottages to be built on the property providing homes/beds for sixty (60) girls under the current license. The Army Corp. of Engineers has approved the expansion after a site visit in January 2014 and the county has projected August 2014 for an approval of the minor-use permit.
Each single cottage will be a complete home where six girls will have a room of their own. The cottages will be built in stages over the next ﬁve years. One of the ten cottages will be designated for pregnant moms and moms with their babies–a severely underserved population.
The expansion time frame is based on the development and strength of the program, as well as, raising the necessary funding. The average cost to build one cottage is $500,000, which includes the actual structure, landscaping, furnishings, a vehicle and 3 months of operating funds enabling us to hire and train staff prior to the arrival of the girls. Currently, funds have been donated for the ﬁrst structure by Bayside Church in Granite Bay, California. Plans to break ground on this cottage will be mid to late 2014, contingent upon when additional funds are raised for the infrastructure (i.e., electrical, water, sewer, etc.), furnishings, vehicle and 3 months of operating costs, as well as, the procurement of county building permits.
One additional cottage will give CWW the ability to double our capacity without increasing corporate or management overhead.
In addition to building cottages, the expansion plan includes the following: a chapel, school, activities building, riding arena and trails that will utilize the entire 52 acre property. We will also be expanding the existing organic garden that has served as a low cost food source for the home.
Since May of 2009, a team of more than twenty architects, designers, and engineers, in the land use and entitlement industries, have donated their time and professional services to help in the process of identifying and obtaining the necessary permits required to expand. They have also helped in orchestrating the necessary studies, reports and designs to satisfy the regulatory requirements to allow this expansion. CWW’s Development Director provides oversight for this project.