Big, Huge, Amazingly Epic News

Beyond Epic News for 51 South….

Before I get to that I want to give you a snap shot of the past 12 months here at 51.  We closed our safe house for trafficking victims, the first one in Mississippi.   We had some safety issues, we couldn’t allow bad things to happen to our staff, neighbors, volunteers and survivors.  We searched and searched for a property that checked all the boxes and haven’t been able to find one.  We placed many survivors in out of state housing, we helped transport survivors to those and other locations.  We have regularly purchased groceries and other needed items for a group of ladies that are now free.  We have spoken to anyone that would listen including churches, local and federal law enforcement, other NGO’s, civic groups and politicians.  Since January 1st of this year we have worked with over 34 survivors.  We’ve been busy but I am guessing you are waiting for the Beyond Epic News….

 

51 South was founded on a word from God.  “House the exploited girls” Our Vision was to rescue and help children that had been trafficked.  When we started that was our goal.  The laws at the time were not in our favor and I made the decision to work with adult females that had been prostituted by the scum of the earth.  Sometimes in life you decide to go into something before you’re supposed to.  The laws have changed to the point that we feel we can begin housing victims that are under 18.  Let that sink in.   We can now help children that have been exploited by the same scum of the earth.  So effective immediately, 51 South Foundation, will be switching its focus to children.  Will we still help adults with placement, transportation and other needs…. of course. 


What does this mean?

We are taking the next 6 to 12 months to accomplish the following tasks:

               -research all legalities and needs to house those under 18.

               -grow our Board of Directors with people that have a background in helping children.

               -find a new Executive Director

We are going to stop all fundraising events during the search for a new Executive Director.  If the new ED chooses to renew these events we will go from there.

Yes…you read that right I am stepping down as ED.  3 years, 6 months and 15 days of being the leader and I feel very strongly that I have taken the foundation as far as I can.  We need new blood, new ideas and new leadership.  I will remain on the Board of Directors for the near future.  I will remain the interim ED.  I will remain active in the MidSouth Abolition Taskforce and Civil Rights Working Group.  When we find the new ED, I will remain active in the foundation in some capacity.  When you bring something from an idea to an entity you still should see it through even in a diminished role.

I will remain Director of Operations for SouthPoint Church and will still be very active in the community. 

So, we are looking for a new Executive Director.  Remember this is currently a passion job not a paid one.  We are also looking for attorneys, politicians and researchers to help us through the mind-numbing amount of laws and bureaucracy.  If any of this interests you please send messages or resumes to info@51south.org

Please continue to pray for open doors, open minds and the right people coming to 51 South Foundation.

Thank you all that have supported 51 South and encouraged me along the way.  It wouldn't have happened without you.

God Bless!


Charley Short

Charles ShortComment
3 months at home

I had come to the realization that the young lady we call "Alaska" was never going to contact us again.  I was hopeful she had found a new wonderful life and had moved on.  I was worried that she like so many others had gone back to the life and was again being prostituted daily.  We reflect often about the ladies we have helped by housing them, getting them out of the area to a safe place or just being there when they need to talk about life.  Most of the time we never hear from them again and we just pray that their lives are in some way better.

This morning she called again.  Her life is as back to normal as she can have it right now.  She is back in Alaska, she has a job, a car and is getting counseling.  We talked about our mutual home, Alaska, which was the catalyst that brought her out of her shell and to the knowledge that what was happening to her was going to end up killing her.  We talked for almost an hour and she said " You know Charley, I would've been back selling my ***** if you had not taken the time again and again to talk to me.  You listened and explained the process in a way I could really understand this time.  You saved my life."  That, in a nutshell, is why 51 South Foundation is in operation.  We didn't house her or give her any resources.  We gave her some time and knowledge.  We didn't even have a hand in her rescue.  She had someone that did rescue her know that she was hurting. They knew the process was not working but found someone with a connection.  Take the time with someone today, it might seem small to you but it could be their whole world!

The language isn't always pretty, the stories are always horrible but sometimes the ending is special.  

Charley

 

Charles Short 2 Comments
Alaska Update!

I am very happy to report that our friend is still in housing and not back in the life of misery.   

Her spirits are high and her resolve and strength are amazing!  She has spoken with her mother on numerous occasions and mom is planning a trip down to see her this week.  They have begun the arduous process of healing old wounds and figuring out what caused those wounds.

We had a great conversation, but she is still trying to understand that there are men out there that want to help her and expect nothing in return.  I had to tell her several times that grace is something she should expect from others and that it has no repayment plan.  The circle of people that she found herself trapped by are not an accurate representation of the world in general, despite what the news, social media, etc.  tell us.  There is good in this world and great people are everywhere.  

She had an interesting story about a truck driver that tried to help her.  She was unaware of Truckers Against Trafficking and was certain he was just trying to take her.  The gentleman offered her the full money for her services, but didn't want them.  He told her that she could escape the life and he would drive her wherever she needed to go.  He would find a safe place for her.  She thought he was a pervert and was interested in making her his girl.  She took the money and bolted out of the truck as fast as could.   She now understands he was trying to help and asked if I knew him.  I told her that I didn't. All she wants to do is return that money to him when she can afford to pay him back.  I told her that if he was offering to help he knew why she took the money.  

Her thought process was fluid this time.  There wasn't the segmented, guarded speech that we have become used to hearing.  She talked about her future, her goals, and her dreams.  All good signs that she is making the proper steps to a brighter future.  Keep praying for her, she really needs it.  

 

 

Charles ShortComment
it affects us all....

I received a call yesterday from  another housing operation that we work with inquiring if I would be able to speak to one of their newest residents.  I told them of course, but why me?  The young lady is from Alaska, like you, and she doesn't feel a connection with anyone here.  We set up a time to speak today. The longer I do this, I am never prepared for the stories and tragedies that I hear.

She was a troubled child that ran away and trouble found her.  The group she fell in with quickly moved her to the west coast and made her start earning her keep.  She told me she has probably been prostituted in at least 60 cities around the country.  They moved her to a southern town and she was arrested. The cops were smart enough to give her the option to go to jail or get help to get out...  She was smart enough to take them up on it.  She told me I could use parts of her story.  The things that happened to her on the road were horrendous. According to my contact within that housing operation, the scars are there to prove it.  

But there really isn't any reason to go into those stories because for almost an hour today we talked about things that made her voice change.  We talked about Home.  We talked about fishing, hiking, Fur Rondy (Anchorage Fur Rendezvous), reindeer sausage(I think I miss that the most) and the majesty that is Alaska.  We also discussed how easy lower 48 kids have it trick or treating in 80+ degree weather.  We used words and expressions that she hasn't heard in years.  We connected on a basic human level... two travelers far from home.  Although we reached our current destination in dramatically different ways, we are where we are.  I told her that the beauty of where she is now, is not where she has to remain.  She also now has the freedom to go where she chooses.  

She promised me that she would stay at least 2 weeks where she currently is staying.  If you have done this for any time at all you know a promise is just a set of words to the survivors.  They have to say what they need to, to get through that day.  I will not hold her to it, but I hope she stays.  She is going to work on her relationship with her mother and when ready 51 South will be a part of the team that will get her home.  

I pray that she makes it all work.  That she makes it home.  That she gets to ski Alyeska again.

God Speed 

Charley

Charles Short 3 Comments
How did you see it

After the recent arrests of pimps and prostitutes in Southaven, I received this email from a survivor.  


I don't know if you want to share this or not, but I figured if you do its ok. I don't talk about my past. I try my best to not think about it. Today I've been crying off and on all day and I can't be quiet. Have you seen the news stories about the bust in Southaven? Not the one you put up. The other ones. The FBI was going after the pimps. They called it anti sex trafficking. I was so happy they got it right! But, then the local news is saying that the cops are clearing out the prostitutes.   All they put up is cops and politicians going on about the prostitute problem. They are using them the same way as the pimps do! They are drawing attention to get the story out!!! They don't give a s#!* about the pimps and the Johns. They don't care about the real story.  Oh they weren't from (your) our town, they weren't from Southaven. It's a business!!! Pimps go where the money is. Apparently ya'll have the men and the money bringing it in! Nobody gets it!!! I had politicians and cops and preachers buy me. The title don't mean anything. You can try to pretend that you have perfect people in your town OR you can face the fact that ya'll have a problem. Ya'll have men that dont care about rape and incest and the fact we were just kids! Ya'll need to know I was 5 when I was first messed with. It happened again when I was 11 and didn't stop. My teenage years were hell. I stayed high so I didn't have to deal. I had a kid I couldn't see until I made my quota for the day. I begged the "dates" and told them i was 14 and needed help. They told my pimp and he beat me unconcious. The worst story I saw today is them saying a daddy and daughter were arrested. They ******* put her picture up!!! Like she woke up when she turned 18 and said Daddy I wanna be a hoe can you help me with that? That's the way you people see it too! Just because they not kids it's what they decided to do. Now because of the news they are screwed again because even IF they get out the game there they are for display. I didn't want to do it any of it!  Ya'll they don't want to do it! They are stuck. They get beat if they don't work.  They are scared.  They ain't gonna show it. They can't. Just quit thinking like the want it. Do you?  Do you want it 20 times a day? Females?  Hell no! It's slavery plain and simple. Look ya'll, I'm out but they ain't.  Help them get out. Pray for them. Quit hating on them. They need ya'll to be mad at the slave master... the pimp/manager/boyfriend /daddy. If you do put this up, if she's reading I want her to know she can get out... peace

 

It really is all about perspective.  Isn't it.

Charles Short 1 Comment
Southaven Chamber of Commerce Award Nominations

Every year the business leaders in Southaven, Mississippi nominate those that are doing things to help the community.  

51 South Foundation received 2 nominations this year.

Our Executive Director, Charley Short, was nominated for non-profit Leader of the Year.

Our Director of Fundraising, Cathy Gandy, was nominated for Woman of the Year.

This is exciting news and we are thankful that the community thinks as much of these two as we do.  Way to go Charley and Cathy!  Keep up the great work!

Charles ShortComment
Updates

Sorry for the lack of updates and news.  We will begin doing monthly updates.

We are currently looking for a new property.  We loved the Pecan House and loved that let it us help survivors and help them escape such a terrible lifestyle.  There were issues with our neighbors and we felt it better to leave rather than have our ladies deal with situations that were beyond all of our control.  They have dealt with enough and adding to it was not in their best interest.

We have identified a property and are working through the process.  We will keep you updated. 

Horseshoe Casino was an amazing title sponsor for our first golf tournament.  We had a great turn out and everyone had a blast.

We have a couple of soon to be announced events coming in the first part of next year.  We would love you to be involved.

 

Charley Short

Executive Director.

Charles ShortComment
New resident

We added a new resident last night.  She is in need of a few things and wondered if you might have them.  

Here is the list from our House Mom.

She needs pajama pants & sleep shirt (Large - pants, Medium shirt)

Here are her sizes:

Bras 36C (she has one)

Panties Large (she has none)

Sweatpants - Large

Jeans 13 - 14

Casual Shirts Large

Socks (she has one pair) large

Shoe Size 11

 

If you would like to help out you can either drop them off at SouthPoint Church 2010 W Stateline Road or contact our main number 6624088654 for other methods.

Charles Short 3 Comments
Steps

We had our first survivor in the house for 5 days before she chose to go back to her pimp.  This is all a part of the process. Knowing that doesn't make it any easier but it was the longest she had been out of the life since she entered it.  These are the steps we have to take and this was a big step forward.  Most homes will take a lady in 9 times or more before they finally leave the life.  We couldn't do it without your support and for that we are very thankful.

Other notes of interest.  We have received many calls in the past few weeks from people needing a place to recover and like minded groups that want to place people with us.  This is very exciting knowing that we will be at full capacity in the next few weeks.  For those of you that don't know we are an 18+ female facility.  We will accept women with children as well.  They must have custody and court approval if needed.  We are starting dialogue with a group that houses children and are hoping we can work together to create a program that will give them the needed skills that can benefit kids affected by trafficking.  That brings me to the elephant in the room that few groups are able to help.  Males.  We have had three calls for housing of men and boys in the last week.  The men we were able to get into a program that was not trafficking specific but we did find them safety.  There was also some boys under the age of 12 that had been trafficked for quite some time.  They are now in a safe place.  We need a facility for these individuals.  The options for female adult and minor are slim but the options for men and boys is almost non-existent.  

Due to the trauma that a trafficking victim endures it is unwise to place them with individuals with other issues.  It never works out well.  They cannot attend school with regular children because they are now different because of sick, twisted individuals that prey upon them.  During a placement situation, I always want to find them a sex trafficking specific group that understands the gamut of things that are to come.  You can tell a Domestic Violence (DV) center what is coming their direction.  But if they have not specifically dealt with it or spoken to survivors there is going to be a set of problems that no one can plan for.  They are placed in mental institutions, halfway houses, group homes and prisons and the real issues are never unpacked.  These people do not need to be thrown away they need to be healed.  

We will continue our march toward more housing units for these victims.  We want to serve all those that are hurting.  

Charles Short 2 Comments
Getting Involved

The most frequently asked question is how do I volunteer or work within the foundation.  We are finally at the point that we are expanding our volunteer staffing and we need your help.  So we need volunteers and hopefully as we grow we can begin to have employees.  We need the following help:

Fundraising Director - The Fundraising Director is responsible for planning, organizing and directing all of 51 South's  Fundraising efforts.  

Program Director - The Program Director oversees the planning, staffing and controlling program activities.

Social Media Director - Will oversee all current and future social media endeavors. 

Counselors - Direct counseling of our residents.

Case Managers - Intake, assessments, individualizes service and goals, crisis intervention and regular appointments with residents to assist in meeting their goals.

Team Leaders - Coordinates all activities of the Pecan House including maintenance, food and supplies.

Transporters - This position is needed all hours of the day and night.  We will supply evasive driving training and this is the only position that may involve an element of danger.  Our Transport will handle entrance interview(if not already completed), complete intake forms, ensure new resident does not have contraband(cell phones, drugs, alcohol or weapons) and transport new resident to the Pecan House.

Once again these are currently unpaid positions.  If you are interested in one of these positions please email resume, availability and position interested in to info@51south.org

You do not have to spend all day writing or rewriting a resume.  Just send what you have.

Charles ShortComment