Courage Worldwide has had numerous conversations with licensing representatives in the state of Texas with regard to the lack of programs and services in the state for children who have been sold for sex.
These professionals have voiced a serious need for a program like Courage House to serve minor trafficking victims throughout the State of Texas. The majority of victims needing placement are within the foster care system – an already burdened and taxed system. Courage Worldwide has sent a representative to attend a licensing requirement orientation session and are currently consulting with individuals knowledgeable of Texas laws/procedures/structure to explore the realities of operating a Courage House in Texas.
To date Courage Worldwide offices have not been opened in Texas, nor a staff hired, as our desire is to keep administrative and overhead costs low. Our business model is to educate the community, utilizing a volunteer army to build relationships and fundraise until we obtain a license and a location to bring children home. We have looked at several rural properties between Dallas and Austin for the first Courage House Texas location – an area where there is zero licensed residential treatment facilities specifically for this population.
Courage Houses are located in rural areas to decrease the likelihood of girls running away – a common behavior of this population, due to their severe trauma. When considering locations, we prefer purchasing thirty to fifty acres with an existing house. The existing structure gives us the ability to immediately and less expensively bring girls home. The acreage allows us room for the equine program (therapy) and the building of additional cottages as demand requires.
The financial requirements to obtain a state license for a residential treatment facility is a location and three months operating budget on deposit. However, Courage Worldwide’s model requires six months of those operating costs on deposit allowing us the time and financial resources to recruit and train a staff of compassionate professionals before bringing girls home. In addition to the six months operating budget, monies have to be raised to purchase land/home. We anticipate fundraising requirements of $700,000 to meet both these obligations.
Courage Worldwide filed papers with the Texas Secretary of State and are now licensed to conduct business and fundraise as a Texas 501c3 non-profit organization. We anticipate submitting the residential treatment license within the next ninety days and beginning fundraising efforts early fall 2016.