Selah Freedom, a Florida-based charity organization with a mission to end sex trafficking, plans to open its Kenosha safe house in late September.
Volunteers have spent nearly a year transforming a crumbling 7,700-square-foot building into a charming, fully-staffed, 24-hour facility.
It will be the organization’s newest and largest safe house in the country, offering a safe residential program for survivors, implementing numerous core initiatives in educational planning, job placement, trauma therapy, life skills and medical assistance.
Kenosha was chosen for a safe house because of its proximity between Chicago and Milwaukee, a 90-mile corridor overflowing with sex traffickers and victims.
Zach Molgaard, owner of Kitchen Cubes LLC in Bristol, has served as the project manager since the initial planning stages. He said most of the interior renovation is complete, with only painting and small-detail work remaining. Volunteers are needed to finish the final interior projects and exterior landscaping work.
“Right now, it’s just a lot of finishing touches to get set up for the inspections,” Molgaard said. “We went to make a nice push here through July and August. A September grand opening is our goal.”
The 1927 structure was fully gutted and renovated. The open-concept design boasts nearly two dozen rooms, including nine bedrooms, four bathrooms, a sprawling lower-level kitchen, commons area, workout facility and an office for staff members and volunteers.
Selah Freedom launched a nationwide fundraising effort for the project, while local subcontractors generously donated supplies and their service. Volunteers from numerous local organizations assisted with demolition, flooring, painting, landscaping and various other jobs.
Groups were invited to “adopt” rooms and decorate with matching furniture, accents and decor.
“Volunteers are still welcome,” Molgaard said. “There are a lot of projects that still need to be done to get this thing launched.”