Drop-in Center in West Columbus
A non-profit organization is looking to open up a drop-in center for human trafficking victims and prostitutes in West Columbus. The group is trying to raise $150,000 to open this center at 1195 Sullivant Avenue.
Holly Zacharaiah, a Columbus Dispatch reporter, elaborated on the location of the drop-in center. “The location of Sanctuary Night is located in the heart of the Franklinton neighborhood that, by far, has more prostitution arrests than any other part of the city,” said Zacharaiah.
This center will be created from a fixer upper home. The windows in this home were broken or boarded up, the inside was a mess, and the outside had weeds growing up the walls. A crowd cheered and applauded when photos of the broken and messy house were shown in a Franklinton meeting room in October as Hannah Estabrook, Executive Director for The Sanctuary Collective presented the project.
The Columbus Dispatch stated “Estabrook sees only promise and hope for the future of the women who walk the streets of the neighborhood.”
The organization recently purchased the run down house for almost $40,000. Estabrook hopes that this place is open by next summer so women can use it to take a shower, get support, and receive the healthcare that they need. Columbus police are also helping with healthcare and a counseling office to those in need. The neighbors of the building are happy to see the crime scene turn into a welcome center.
Estabrook spoke on the goal of the center.
“Just keeping them alive. We believe in the harm reduction model. We want women to have things like condoms and Narcan kits and fentanyl strips so they can keep breathing,” said Estabrook.
The safety concerns for women around the community are rising and overall, many know that having this resource will be a great addition to help women in need and help the community become a better place.