Funds are required for the formation of a legal entity, shuttle vehicles, furniture and linens, resources and educational material, cleaning, laundering and security needs, utilities and down-payments.
Kayla's Place - providing safe lodging, transportation and a better future for vulnerable workers within the adult entertainment industry.
Kayla's Place will primarily exist for exotic dancers who need transportation and a safe place to sleep, while also providing resources to help them lead better lives with more promising prospects after their dancing career.
As a recent (and often conflicted) customer/patron of adult entertainment venues, I have met some incredibly special people and had some surprisingly profound conversations. The dancers come from all walks of life and choose dancing mainly for the income potential. Some are more successful than others. Some appear to manage their personal lives better than others. A few clearly need some assistance.
Through an informal series of interviews, aspects of significant concern were discovered regarding the wellbeing and safety of a certain segment of dancers. Those who are most vulnerable are between the ages of 18 and 21 and/or are from out of town. The unfamiliarity of a new city or the inability to book and pay for their own reputable hotel room (if under 21), can leave them dependent on unreliable acquaintances or friends for help, or sleeping in their car, or looking for subpar hotel rooms that will accept cash payments for an hourly stay. On occasions, against better judgement, some dancers may also accept drinks from benevolent customers after their shift is over. It is their own choice to do so, but this further heightens the inherent risks and may lead to some driving themselves while intoxicated.
Kayla's Place will take the form of multiple bedroomed homes or apartments, where for much less than the cost of an average hotel, the most vulnerable dancers will have a safe place to sleep, secure storage for belongings and earnings, and have access to food. A shuttle service will take them to and from this safe place and their place of work, before and after their shifts. Additionally, an in-house library of educational resources and contacts; ranging from alternative job prospects, business advice and financial planning, to legal representation and mental health care connections, will be available. The aim is to encourage and empower the dancers to manage their current endeavor better, plan for the future and provide an "off-ramp" for when they no longer wish to dance.
The name 'Kayla's Place' was inspired by a server at one of my favorite restaurants. Over the months I became a regular at this establishment and would often request to sit in Kayla's section. Kayla was a ray of sunshine. Everyone who was blessed to meet her was left a better person. She cared deeply and showed genuine and sincere interest in her customers lives. Though I know she was fighting her own battles, she always showed up to work with a smile and her A-game, ready to make a difference. She understood that working in the service industry was not simply about serving food and drink. She touched lives. Then came the evening of October 12th 2020 when I requested to sit in Kayla's section only to find out that she had overdosed 2 days prior. She was only 20 years of age.
The circumstances surrounding this tragedy remain unclear. But what is certain is that her absence from this planet takes with it a piece of many peoples hearts. I wish to do something that honors her bright light, her work-ethic, her care and compassion, and her memory. Though she was not an exotic dancer personally, this concept pairs with her non-judgmental spirit.
Funds are required for the formation of a legal entity, shuttle vehicles, furniture and linens, resources and educational material, cleaning, laundering and security needs, utilities and down-payments for suitable residences. Some of these costs will ultimately be covered by the nominal nightly lodging rate in order to make it sustainable. If the funding goal is exceeded, the geographical area which Kayla's Place serves will be expanded within and beyond Charlotte, NC. Anyone who believes they have other helpful resources to offer, please reach out.
On a personal note, it is uncomfortable to draw attention to this need. I am a father of two daughters and a conflicted person on many levels. Wrestling with my questions and being at peace with the answers is part of my journey that I am learning to embrace and work through. In my short-comings, failings and questionable choices, I try to look for purpose behind it all. It is that mindset which brought about this idea. I petition everyone who reads this to help in any way you can to get this off the ground. We all want to make a difference in some way. This is my way of trying to do that - of bringing some light into a typically dark place. Thank you for partnering - even if just in your thoughts and well-wishes.
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