Carla Smith moved to Arizona 12 years ago from Seattle, Washington. She is passionate about generating solutions to domestic violence and became a member of SOUL. When Kay stepped down and asked her to lead the group, Carla accepted the opportunity to help community organizations that support young girls and women.
“My passion is to help people who are hurting. I love young people. In my cosmetology school I saw so many girls who were struggling to gain a productive future. My childhood was not great and not that bad. I suffered from mental abuse of being told that I would never amount to anything. This drove me to do something with my life. So many girls are broken by constant attacks of physical and mental abuse. I want to offer some solutions. I would like young people to know that you can overcome great obstacles and make great gains in life.”
“After reading these books I was appalled by the treatment of our precious children. I knew we must do something to help these young girls.”
Sharon Johnson, StreetLightUSA Community Coordinator came out to talk with the SOUL members about adolescent commercial sex trafficking and how StreetLightUSA helps. SOUL was eager and ready to find ways to support StreetLightUSA.
Carla shared that too many people don’t seem to understand the extent of what young girls go through when they are sex trafficked. “These children are wounded and without hope. When they are rescued and brought to a place like StreetLightUSA, they need all the love, support and understanding we can give them. They need people to listen, to let them know their story matters and their voice counts.”
Carla reminds us, the girls at StreetLightUSA need help from the community. A 24/7 residential facility that offers trauma-informed programs needs donations and support to help the girls become whole again. Carla likes to think that SOUL serves as a positive example for the girls, and maybe these same girls will give back and help others one day.
Carla found four books that helped her learn about adolescent commercial sex trafficking.
Girl For Sale by Lara McDonell
Stolen Girl by Marsha Skrypuch
Please Let Me Go by Caitlin Spencer
Trafficked: Two Sisters Lost by Lois Kenna Tripodi