Kara Van de Carr
People to Watch Class of 2014
JEFFERY JOHNSTON PHOTOGRAPH
Co-founder & President, Eden House
Founded in 2011, Eden House offers long-term housing and services to survivors of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.
It is the first organization of its kind in the state of Louisiana.
“Our two-year residential program offers a holistic approach to recovery, including housing, food, mental and physical care, job training, legal services and education,” says Kara Van de Carr, co-founder and president of the nonprofit organization.
Formerly a U.S. diplomat stationed in Kingston, Jamaica, Van de Karr says that though human trafficking is often thought of as a heinous crime that takes place abroad, it’s actually prevalent throughout the country.
Eden House, she says, is one of few organizations in this country addressing the global problem.
“According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the average age of entry for girls into prostitution is between 12 and 14 years old,” she says. “Many women who enter the doors of Eden House have never had proper legal documentation. Some have never received a doctor’s care, and most have lived a life of perpetual fear.”
Van de Karr says her goal for the organization isn’t only to provide empowerment and recovery to as many survivors as possible, but also to inspire other states to set up similar organizations dedicated to conquering the problem.