NAVARRE — Two local residents want Navarre to be the next Refuge for Women.

"We're hoping to have a home by the end of this year or at least by February (of next year)," Michelle Jones said. "We thought it would be nice to open by Valentine's Day and show women love — a healthy love."

Refuge for Woman is a Kentucky-based nonprofit group that provides long-term care for women who have escaped human trafficking or sexual exploitation. The organization has expanded to include locations around the country, including Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, and North Texas with safe housing staffed 24/7.

About five months ago Jones and local businessman Skip Orth decided join efforts to bring the organization to Navarre. Their goal is to raise $100,000 for seed money.

"We're looking for a house in the Santa Rosa County area, so if you have one or know someone who has one ... ," Orth said at a presentation Monday evening at the Hampton Inn in Navarre.

Orth said he would like to see the safe house in Navarre, but is looking at any opportunity along the Emerald Coast area. He and Jones plan to take in four women the first year. The maximum number of women per house is six.

"Our ultimate goal is to not just stop at one (house)," Orth said.

The Refuge for Women model has three phases — healing, life skills and employment, and optional aftercare/employment. A resident at a Refuge for Women safe house can complete the program in nine months and may have an additional three months. According to the website, the organization has a 95 percent rate with women who graduate from the program who do not return to the sex industry.

At Monday's presentation Jones shared some statistics with the dozen or so people who attended. The average age of a girl entering in the sex industry is 12, and between 2007 and 2015 there were more than 24,000 human trafficking cases in the United States. Florida is in the top three among the 50 states. After the presentation, there were a few that stayed to ask more questions, which was humbling, Jones said.

"It confirms that I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing," she said.

Since they quietly launched the organization, started a website and hosted a couple fundraisers in the area, Jones said they've already been contacted by two women looking for help.

"It was difficult to say no to them," she said. "The sooner we're open, the sooner we can help women."