Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 111008
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File Number: 111008 File Type: Resolution Status: Amended
Version: 0 Reference: Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: CREATING SAFE HOUSES FOR EXPLOITED CHILDREN Introduced: 5/3/2011
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 6/7/2011
Agenda Date: 6/7/2011 Agenda Item Number: 11A1
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE MAYOR OR MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO IDENTIFY COUNTY RESOURCES THAT COULD BE USED FOR THE PURPOSE OF CREATING SAFE HOUSES FOR CHILDREN WHO HAVE BEEN SEXUALLY EXPLOITED; AND FURTHER DIRECTING THE MAYOR OR MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO COLLABORATE WITH LOCAL PARTNERS TO IDENTIFY WAYS IN WHICH MIAMI-DADE COUNTY CAN ASSIST CHILDREN WHO HAVE BEEN SEXUALLY EXPLOITED
Indexes: NONE
Sponsors: Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Prime Sponsor
  Lynda Bell, Co-Sponsor
  Audrey M. Edmonson, Co-Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
  Barbara J. Jordan, Co-Sponsor
  Sen. Javier D. Souto, Co-Sponsor
  Jean Monestime, Co-Sponsor
  Rebeca Sosa, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 6/7/2011 11A1 Amended
REPORT: (SEE AGENDA ITEM 11A1 AMENDED; LEGISLATIVE FILE NO. 120826.)

Public Safety & Healthcare Admin Cmte 5/10/2011 2A Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Valda Clark Christian read the foregoing proposed resolution into the record. Commissioner Diaz introduced Ms. Trudy Novicki of Kristi House and noted his intent to work with that organization in addressing the issue of sexually exploited children. Ms. Trudy Novicki, Executive Director, Kristi House Child Advocacy Center, 1265 NW 12 Avenue, thanked Chairman Diaz for his sponsorship of this proposed resolution and commented on the need for Miami Dade County to address the dire situation of human trafficking of young women that not only occurred throughout the country, but also within the county. She noted the average age of a young woman entering into prostitution in the United States (U.S.) was thirteen and a 2009 study conducted in Miami Dade and Broward County by Shared Hope International, an international trafficking organization, reflected that there were approximately 500 at risk children in this county alone. She further noted that according to recent FBI statistics, Miami was designated as one of the thirteen hubs for domestic minor sex trafficking. She commented on a report prepared by the Department of Justice in August, 2010 that focused on the prevention of child exploitation within the U.S. and recognized domestic minor sex trafficking as a problem. She spoke about the efforts of the Women’s Fund of Miami Dade that focused on the demand side of the trade and raised awareness on local advertisements, specifically in the Miami New Times, that solicited women for sale, with many of them being minors. She also noted that Kristi House, in collaboration with the Miami Dade Police Department (MDPD) has rescued approximately 120 young girls off the streets in Miami, to date. Ms. Novicki stressed the need for a designated, staff secure shelter for these minor children, noting current shelters were not secure enough to keep the girls from running away or to protect them from pimps that trolled runaway shelters looking for young girls to sexually exploit. She also said a designated safe house for these children should be gender specific and staffed 24 hours with individuals who specialized in the area of sexually abused children. She noted a State bill to create statewide safe houses failed in the Legislature this year and will be presented again at next years session. Mr. Mike Cabrera, Major, MDPD Special Victims Bureau, commented on their concerns with the sexual exploitation of minor children and noted their participation in addressing the situation. Sgt. Gigi Cueva, MDPD, who has worked on the child exploitation situation within Miami Dade County for the past five years, concurred with Ms. Novicki noting the need for those exploited children to have a safe house. Upon inquiry by Commissioner Jordan regarding the type of controlled facility Christy House was recommending, Ms. Novicki suggested the facility be modeled after a staff secured facility in Dallas, Texas that provided security both outside and inside, including an alarm system and one secured door. Commissioner Heyman noted the proposed facility would be similar to the safe space facilities provided to domestic violence victims. Upon inquiry by Commissioner Souto regarding zoning issues that could arise on the placement of such facilities, Chairman Diaz noted there would be one controlled facility on county property located outside of any residential neighborhoods. Commissioner Diaz further noted Kristi House had a grant and asked staff to work with the organization as expeditiously as possible once a facility was located. Commissioners Heyman, Bell, Jordan, Edmondson, and Souto all expressed their desire to be listed as co-sponsors of this proposed resolution. There being no further questions or comments, the committee proceeded to vote on this proposed resolution as presented.

County Attorney 5/3/2011 Referred Public Safety & Healthcare Admin Cmte 5/10/2011

County Attorney 5/3/2011 Assigned Karon M. Coleman 5/4/2011

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE MAYOR OR MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO IDENTIFY COUNTY RESOURCES THAT COULD BE USED FOR THE PURPOSE OF CREATING SAFE HOUSES FOR CHILDREN WHO HAVE BEEN SEXUALLY EXPLOITED; AND FURTHER DIRECTING THE MAYOR OR MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO COLLABORATE WITH LOCAL PARTNERS TO IDENTIFY WAYS IN WHICH MIAMI-DADE COUNTY CAN ASSIST CHILDREN WHO HAVE BEEN SEXUALLY EXPLOITED

BODY
WHEREAS, according to the Florida House of Representatives Staff Analysis of HB 145 (2011 Session) (hereinafter, “Staff Analysis”), it is estimated that about 293,000 youth in the United States are currently at risk of becoming victims of commercial sexual exploitation; and
WHEREAS, according to this Staff Analysis, the majority of victims of commercial sexual exploitation are runaway youths who come from homes where they have been abused or abandoned and become involved in prostitution as a means of financial support, while other youths are forced into prostitution through abduction, pressure from adults or through deceptive agreements between parents and traffickers; and
WHEREAS, commercial sexual exploitation of children includes escort and massage services, private dancing, drinking and photographic clubs, major sporting and recreational events, major cultural events, conventions and tourist destinations, as per the Staff Analysis; and
WHEREAS, the average age at which youths first become involved in prostitution is 12-14 for girls and 11-13 for boys, as per the Staff Analysis; and
WHEREAS, this Board of County Commissioners desires to address this crisis and help the youth in this community who may be victims of sexual exploitation,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that the Mayor or Mayor’s designee is directed to:
1. Identify Miami-Dade County resources that can be used to create safe houses for children who have been sexually exploited, including but not limited to:
a. Existing victim services programs such as domestic violence shelters, youth services program, homeless programs such as homeless shelters and other County programs,
b. Unused space, leases, buildings, lots or other property;
c. Available grants and other funding sources for which the County could apply; and
d. Existing contracts with community based organizations.
2. Collaborate with local, state and federal law enforcement, State of Florida Department of Children and Families, The Children’s Trust and other appropriate partners such as but not limited to the Kristi House to devise a strategy for helping children who have been sexually exploited, including identification of resources.
3. The Mayor or Mayor’s designee shall provide a report to the Public Safety and Health Care Administration Committee no later than sixty (30) days from the effective date of this Resolution.



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