Eugene (KMTR) – Following the sentencing of a Eugene man for trafficking a teen, a local resource center for homeless youth says the problem is more common than many believe. Adam Zimmer was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison Monday, after he was caught trying to pimp a 15-year-old girl in a sting operation last year.
The Hosea Youth Services center offers a hot meal and safe space for kids on the street three days a week, but they don’t offer an overnight program. Staff members at the center say they believe some girls they interact with are trafficking victims when they leave at night. Britni D’Eliso told NewsSource 16, "it's really hard, they're obviously in a fragile state, and we don't have the evidence to necessarily follow up. So I think the number one thing we offer is relationship, and carrying out that theme of safety, and being someone a girl can confide in."
The center works closely with a group called Hope Ranch Ministries, which is in the process of bringing a safe house to Lane County designed to rehabilitate trafficking victims. The program’s director visits Hosea once a week to connect with teens, hoping to build relationships and help them in the future.