** For immediate release **
December 2, 2021
St. Paul, Minnesota
As Minnesota’s newly established Task Force on Missing and Murdered African American Women begins its work to reduce violence against African American women and girls, Brittney Ermon with KSTP Channel 5 visited Brittany’s Place Emergency Shelter to learn about the risks and dangers that young women of color face due to sex trafficking and exploitation.
“Brittany’s Place offers a critical, safe rest stop for women who are trafficked and in risk of physical violence and even death,” said Krystal Hollins, Senior Program Manager at Brittany's Place and parent organization, 180 Degrees. Brittany's Place is led by all female staff, 64% of whom are BIPOc. Along with Ms. Hollins, they provide a culturally-rich environment with programming that welcomes and celebrates girls of color.
Since 2014, over 600 girls have turned to 180 Degrees' Brittany's Place for safety and healing following sexual exploitation, including 136 last year. Of those, 83% were black, indegenous, or people or color. While African Amercians make up 5.8% of Minnesota's population, they accounted for 53% of all girls in Brittany's Place last year.
Youth who have been sexually exploited require highly specialized services to address their unique trauma and goals. The goal at Brittany’s Place is for youth to escape from exploitive relationships and to live healthy, age-appropriate lifestyles, develop self-sufficient living, prevent dependence on social services, and obtain housing stability. Program goals are to achieve alternative healthy lifestyles, social and emotional well-being, permanent connections, life skills, education/employment, and exits to safe, stable, permanent housing.
Brittany’s Place, launched in 2014 as Minnesota’s first and largest program for sexually exploited youth, is a regional safety net for youth and families in the Twin Cities metro, statewide, and in adjacent states. Named for after Brittany Clardy, a vibrant young woman who was murdered following a sex trafficking incdient, Brittany's Place is a designated Minnesota Safe Harbor shelter meeting the highest standards for trauma-responsive care, program design, and service philosophy. Today, Brittany’s Place has evolved to provide a full spectrum of services specific to the needs of youth survivors of sex trafficking, including intervention, prevention, and emergency outreach .
Founded in 1973, 180 Degrees, Inc., operates emergency shelter and supportive housing programs for youth and adults. Trauma-informed services address immediate crisis to experiencing neglect, homelessness, sexual exploitation and trafficking, and incarceration. Programs include Clifton Place, a residential and supportive housing program for men exiting prison, Hope House Emergency Youth Shelter in Chanhassen, Onward House in Eden Prairie, and Emergency Youth Shelters in St. Cloud and Rochester.
Watch the KSTP-TV Interview featuring Krystal Hollins Here:
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