St. Paul sex-victim housing shelter to close in March - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

St. Paul sex-victim housing shelter to close in March

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- A St. Paul housing shelter for teen victims of sex trafficking and exploitation is closing, just months after opening.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports the nonprofit Breaking Free is shutting down Jerry's Place in mid-March. It opened in October.

Breaking Free's housing director, Katie Tuione, says the organization, named for a St. Paul police sergeant, is currently home to a 17-year-old and three 16-year-olds.

Founder and executive director Vednita Carter said last week they had received less than half of its original funding request from the state. But the Minnesota Department of Human Service says operators knew the funding amount a year before it opened.

Breaking Free's director of development, Emily Baldwin, cites licensing and staffing issues. She says the organization still will provide beds for youth.
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