Philly is one of a handful of places in the U.S. that offers safe haven to former prostitutes
With luck (and funding), Sabella may be able to bring Mimi to Philadelphia and begin working on her year-long psychological, legal, emotional, physical and financial recovery. Mimi needs to get her many hospital bills sorted. She's already got a new passport, new Social Security card and a new birth certificate, which she proudly carries around with her. After Dawn's Place, she's dying to go to school. Years ago, she wanted to be a nurse and take care of sick people. Now she wants to become a lawyer. She says lawyers get to handle business, get to dress up and speak their minds; you get to win.
At one time, this pretty little girl was beaten to a bloody pulp by a trick who stole the shoes right off her feet. She ran back to her pimp bloody and barefoot. Now she's tired and needs a rest. But she's still running.
"I don't want to do this no more. I want to go back home. I want to be with my family. I'm tired of these tricks beating me up," she says. "Everything."
PW's Summer Guide 2014