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Refuge House opens Carmela's Place to give victims of sexual violence a fresh start

Posted at 10:41 AM, May 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-04 10:43:29-04

TALLAHASSEE FLA. (WTXL) — More than a thousand men and women of sexual violence have found resources through Refuge House.

Last month, they received 150 calls concerning sexual violence.

Although Tallahassee is a small city, sex trafficking is still a concern and having facilities like Carmela's Place is needed in our area.

Refuge House in Tallahassee offers emergency shelter for victims of sexual violence and temporary housing to get them on their feet.

Executive Director of Refuge House Emily Mitchem said over the past eight years more than a thousand sexual violence victims have sought resources through their non profit.

"There is a need. Tallahassee is like every other town in America," said Emily Mitchem.

Emergency shelter, counseling, having a place to lay their head for a few nights or needing permanent placement are the tools Mitchem provides.

"What we see long term is just amazing turn around," said Mitchem.

Mitchem said people that have used their resources have made life changing progress.

"To be able to see people come through just unimaginable hardships and really just take life on and make it their own is just humbling" said Mitchem.

Mitchem said Refuge House is also offering Carmela's Place.

Its giving survivors a place where they can stay for up to two years to get their lives back on track.

While living at the house, each person will have their own plan to success.

Robin Hassler Thompson, Executive Director of STAC, Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center said having a place for survivors to call home is the first step to healing.

"Housing is really the number one need that victims of sex trafficking have so its a tremendous asset to our community that there's an option for housing" said Robin Hassler Thompson.

Thompson said this is another place that she can call to help a victim that comes her way.

Carmela's Place is an eight bedroom road to new opportunities for survivors.

The facility is in an undisclosed location to ensure permanent safety.

For more information about Carmela’s Place or how to make a donation, visit Refuge House.

The 24-hour hotline is available by calling 850-681-2111.