Advocates concerned about motels helping exploit women
EAST RIDGE, Tenn. (WDEF) — Advocates for sexually exploited women say they’re glad an East Ridge motel is temporarily shut down.
At the Waverly Motel, yellow violation signs indicate it is not open. Rooms were being cleaned and there was a pile of items near the dumpster.
City officials say the place was deemed unsafe. They say police have responded to the motel for numerous calls, including ones about drugs and prostitution.
Over at Clear Creek Church of Christ, Catrina Cabe runs Cry for the Broken.
“Cry for the Broken goes out to the streets to form personal relationships with sexually exploited women. We meet their immediate needs by providing hygiene items, water and food. And we additional offer them to come off the streets and enter a crisis centered recovery program,” Cabe said.
For 20 years she experienced what these women are going through.
“I was a homeless sexually exploited woman and the lord rescued me off the streets and when I saw all of his many blessings and how good life can be I said how could I not go back out and let my friends know that this is not the end,” Cabe said.
Joshua Diggs, the teaching minister at the church, says Cry for the Broken gives people hope.
“It is our attempt to go to the places that need hope the most. Take a little flashlight into the dark corners and invite them into the light and again I think that more than anything else is a place where we get to see the greatest change happening,” Diggs said.
Cabe says she wants to see change when it comes to these motels.
“We need to enforce these owners to be more accountable for the decisions that they are making for people coming in and out of their motels,” Cabe said.
Her goal is to work with owners, so women aren’t exploited.
“Cry for the Broken is on the brink with partnering with some motels to raise more awareness and make the owners and the employees more aware of what is going on in the hotels, so they know what to look for. But these hotels who know it and let it go on anyway, building inspection is the way to go,” Cade said.
The East Ridge housing commission will discuss what’s next for the Waverly Motel at their meeting on Monday.