Nacogdoches non-profit aims to provide care, resources for human trafficking victims

Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 1:20 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 22, 2022 at 1:26 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The residential treatment center near Hudson that was once known as Light of the Pines is now called Tharseo Place.

The owners have also changed from being a private business to a non-profit and have reapplied to the state under the new name.

Tharseo Place is a residential treatment center for young girls who are victims or are at risk of being a victim of human trafficking.

CEO Jenny Nielsen says they provide treatment services for these young women, “such as therapies, and different programing to help them overcome their past traumas to be able to move on to a less restrictive environment. And eventually, they will be reunited with their families or go into a foster home,” Nielsen said.

In January, the owners withdrew their license following state oversight.

They then reapplied for the license but withdrew their application again to change the name and go from being a private business to a non-profit.

“The local community was very vocal that they felt like that was not a good choice and that they would prefer it to be a non-profit in the community, so we changed our name when we changed over to a non-profit,” Nielsen

Now that they are a non-profit, the center has a board of directors to answer to. They can take donations from the public, receive grants, and people in the community can volunteer at the center.

“It is a whole process; it’s not just show up on Monday, ‘hey I wanna help out today.’ Our volunteers will have to go through a certain amount of training. We have rigorous background checks they will have to go through,” Nielsen said.

The licensing process can take anywhere from three to six months.

Nielson says they are ready to be able to serve these young women again.

“It really is the work of the heart, just like teaching is or any of those professions. You’re in it to see these kids grow and overcome the struggles that they have been through,” Nielsen said.

For more information about how to volunteer at Tharseo Place, visit their website.