A plan to turn a historic mansion in Coronado into a transitional house for sex trafficking survivors is moving forward, despite strong opposition from neighbors.
On Friday, the couple who donated the house opened up to address concerns and explain why they want to help these victims.
In April, the city named the Hansen Mansion a historic resource. The benefactor has remained anonymous, but now for the first time he's telling us why he wants this mansion to be a home for sex trafficking survivors.
The family next door says they don't have an issue but others do.
The philanthropist who trusted the historic Hansen Mansion in Coronado is going public. Ed McVaney said he's leasing it to GenerateHope for $1 to be a home for sex trafficking survivors.
“Our anonymity was causing confusion and backfiring on us,” McVaney said in an exclusive interview with News 8. The former software company owner says the neighbors’ worry isn’t necessary. “We felt a natural empathy and sympathy to help out with this.”
In May, News 8 covered a community meeting with GenerateHope, a non-profit that provides safe houses and recovery for sex trafficking victims.
“We are going to start seeing strange cars driving up and down the avenue with some young men in them and hopefully they won't have girls with them,” one meeting attendee said.
“We are more than happy,” GenerateHope Executive Director Dan Desaegher said. “We know we are going to be a great neighbor.”
Despite the FBI ranking San Diego 8th in the nation for sex trafficking, there's a shortage of beds for victims. Desaegher said this home will house six women who have gone through 12-18 months of recovery. The women will have jobs and go to school.
“No drugs no alcohol, curfew we will do checks,” Desaegher added. “The lifestyles of these women will be very safe for themselves and the neighborhood may not even know they are here.”
“It's so noble we all feel hurt and saddened for these young ladies and if there is any way we can help them get out the mess they are in, we want to do it,” McVaney said.
Generate hope plans to open the home for six women and two residential directors in December.
The assistant city manager told News 8 that a permit or re-zoning is not required and that the city has only approved building permits.
GenerateHope is having its first gala, "Love40", on Saturday to raise money for more homes. They have only one in San Diego and each resident costs them about $40,000 per year.
More information can be found here.