The four to eight bed shelter—which is also being funded by a $500,000 federal grant to Multnomah County—will open very soon, in January 2011. That's a year ahead of a second sex trafficking shelter that the local YWCA and Senator Ron Wyden are pushing to construct in North Portland by early 2012. The city and county money won't actually be constructing a new building, but transforming a current Janus Youth transitional home into a shelter with services specifically targeted toward underage trafficking victims.
Clearly, providing focused services for teens caught up in the sex trade is long overdue. But for a glimpse into the disturbing world on the flip side of this discussion, the johns, check out this strangely frank forum for people who buy sex in Portland. Following their conversation (which doesn't strike me as fake, though there's no way to tell) shows that Portland johns seem to be frustrated recently by crackdowns and a lack of streetwalkers—both good signs. Also, at least one guy listened to the City Club about human trafficking on OPB: "The fed prosecutor was worth listening to, as they are going after prostitution as a "trafficking" crime."
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