Best Friend to Girls
Advocates working with the nonprofit MISSSEY Inc. know that the reality of prostitutes working on the streets of Alameda County are far from the fairytales told in movies such as Pretty Woman. Many girls in the East Bay are recruited to work "the track" while they're still preteens, and often become veteran prostitutes before they're even old enough to vote. MISSSEY Inc. (which stands for Motivating, Inspiring, Supporting and Serving Sexually Exploited Youth) is busy fighting on behalf of these girls. The group is devoted to treating young prostitutes as victims — rather than as criminals. This organization has been working with agencies like the Oakland Police Department to help child prostitutes get the services they need to find a way off the streets and create better, safer, and more empowered lives for them. The group also is on the hunt for printing materials and supplies and is working on a line of clothing, MISSEY.threads, devoted to raising awareness and supporting youth.