A Gulf Breeze building housed a sex trafficking operation. These women reclaimed it to help victims.

A Gulf Breeze building housed a sex trafficking operation. These women reclaimed it to help victims.

The former Gulf Breeze therapeutic massage parlor that as soon as housed intercourse trafficking victims is now a reward shop and risk-free space for victims and their advocates to increase resources to place an stop to human trafficking in the community.



Josie Cotti describes the mission and merchandise for sale at Magdalene's Gifts and Gatherings in Gulf Breeze on Wednesday, while Deborah Atchinson looks on. The unique gift shop will use its profits to help stop human trafficking.


© Tony Giberson/[email protected]
Josie Cotti describes the mission and merchandise for sale at Magdalene’s Presents and Gatherings in Gulf Breeze on Wednesday, while Deborah Atchinson seems on. The exceptional reward store will use its revenue to support stop human trafficking.

Magdalene’s Presents & Gatherings is the initially step in a homegrown effort to supply far more support for girls who might be looking for help from human and sexual intercourse trafficking in Northwest Florida. The business strategies to devote all its revenue again into other approaches of halting human trafficking.

“The internet profits — and anything which is donated — the proceeds go immediately to individuals serving to to end trafficking,” claimed Magdalene’s Neighborhood Chair Josie Cotti. “Right now, it’s aiding other companies.”



Deborah Atchinson checks in new merchandise for resale at Magdalene's Gifts and Gatherings in Gulf Breeze on Wednesday. The unique gift shop will use its profits to help stop human trafficking.


© Tony Giberson/[email protected]
Deborah Atchinson checks in new products for resale at Magdalene’s Presents and Gatherings in Gulf Breeze on Wednesday. The special present shop will use its revenue to aid cease human trafficking.

Clayton Williams, a Pensacola person, was arrested in August of 2019 following federal raids of Asian massage parlors he operated in Pensacola, Gulf Breeze and Gainesville. Federal investigators alleged that Williams owned or operated about two dozen therapeutic massage parlors in Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, and that he staffed the businesses with Asian females who carried out sex acts for income. 

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“It was gorgeous to us that a organization we passed all the time was committing a horrible atrocity less than our noses,” Cotti explained. “We should not just be appalled and shift on. We now know what we can not unknow, and we’ve decided on to phase up and say we’re going to make a distinction.”

The official board, which has turn into a 501(c)(3), is leasing Williams’ aged massage parlor on Fordham Parkway. In get to pay for the lease, Magdalene’s fundraised $50,000 as a result of community donors.

Cotti said the team desired to make guaranteed its objective is transformed, and the place is redeemed. Magdalene’s hopes to have a few phases of its procedure. The initial is the reward shop, the next is a conference place and smaller library where “women can occur and be in modest groups and have Bible experiments or lessons,” she explained. The two facets are now open up.

The third period is a very long-term facility that can home up to a few gals and assist them transition back again to ordinary lifetime. The hope is that each and every female can partake in a two-year system.

“Our future step we’re doing work on is to set up a continuum of treatment,” Cotti mentioned. “It would permit (the victims) as they are completely ready, to occur do the job in this article at the store. They could come across their gifts and skills.”

The gift store specializes in area, artisan-built products and solutions, which includes signature pieces carrying Magdalene’s mission, “to really like and serve all ladies in their journey toward healing and restoration.” Products include jewelry, candles, authentic art, photography, pottery, wall crosses and custom-made and personalized gifts.



Gulf Breeze welcomed Magdalene's Gifts and Gatherings into its business community on Friday. The gift shop will use its profits to help stop human trafficking.


© Tony Giberson/[email protected]
Gulf Breeze welcomed Magdalene’s Presents and Gatherings into its business enterprise group on Friday. The reward shop will use its earnings to assist cease human trafficking.

Cotti claimed the shop also will offer an eclectic assortment of items like household and backyard garden provides, products for youngsters, luggage and purses among the other items. She added that a fantastic quantity of products were donated by the community.

Gifts & Gatherings, 3268 Fordham Parkway in Gulf Breeze, is open Tuesday by Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Local community users are invited to a grand opening nowadays. 

“Northwest Florida is no lengthier heading to be accepting (human trafficking) as a piece of our local community,” Cotti reported.

This posting originally appeared on Pensacola News Journal: A Gulf Breeze making housed a sexual intercourse trafficking operation. These gals reclaimed it to enable victims.

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