“This is something that is in every neighborhood in our country,” Fardulis said. “We want a voice across America that says enough is enough.”
Fardulis, who works with a board of directors and a development team, opened the headquarters, 310 E. Fifth St., in early November. He plans to open the first of four residential homes in March 2012.
The other homes will be opened over the next two years, he said.
Called Amy’s House, the group of homes, each with eight bedrooms, will provide the girls with treatment and educational services, as well as support and placement when they are ready to leave the program. The restorative care empowers the girls to move from the shame of sexual trauma toward courage, while teaching them self-respect and how to trust others.
The girls will receive a variety of treatment, including individual, group and family therapy; medical care; and educational services through a certified on-site school. They will be educated to catch up to grade level or have the opportunity to earn their General Equivalency Degree.
The average length of stay for the girls will be two years, Fardulis said.
“Our goal is to take them off the street to help them heal and work through their trauma,” said Estes Park resident Lori Greening, a volunteer with Kairos. “I think a lot of people are unaware of how much there is a need for this.”
Fardulis originally planned to open a residential facility for girls who have been victims of sexual assault. He and his wife, Paula, who is now retired, operated Monarch Youth Homes until they closed it in 2004.
“We realized with Monarch, over 90 percent of our girls had been sexually abused,” said Fardulis, who has 20 years of experience working with nonprofits and residential treatment programs.
Two years ago, Fardulis began developing a treatment program for sexually abused girls, but as he became aware of the extent of the human trafficking problem in the United States, he decided to change his focus. He developed relationships with the Federal Bureau of Investigations, metro area police departments, advocacy groups and human services departments to provide his services.
Fardulis learned that according to law enforcement, an estimated 100,000 to 300,000 youth in America are forced into prostitution each year, he said. They typically are runaways, sold into prostitution by their parents or are abducted, he said. Per capita, Colorado has the highest number of youth runaways in the nation, estimated to be 5,800 annually, Fardulis said. Statistics show that Denver has a greater problem with human trafficking than Los Angeles, he said.
Fardulis named his set of programs Kairos, which in Greek means a time of opportunity that may never come again. He named the residential treatment center Amy’s House after his daughter, Amy Beth Fardulis, who died at age 22 in an automobile accident.
“She was a lot of my inspiration for caring for kids,” Fardulis said. “She had a real hunger to help street kids.” Amy’s House will provide the flagship program that Fardulis eventually hopes to expand to include a boy’s program and transitional services to transition the youths back into society. Fardulis wants to provide a continuum of programs and services that follow clients through their healing, growth and developmental needs.
Fardulis is researching a site for Amy’s House that he wants to locate in Larimer County, he said. He launched a capital campaign a week ago to raise $130,000, which will cover the costs of starting a program in an existing home.
“The need is so great, it’s overwhelming,” Fardulis said.