Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $600,000)
Through the Maryland Anti-Trafficking Housing (MATH) project, the International Rescue Committee in Maryland (IRC-MD) will provide safe, stable housing and appropriate services to 30 victims of human trafficking across the State of Maryland using a low-barrier, housing-first model. Unlike existing human trafficking housing programs in Maryland, the proposed program will be offered regardless of victim demographics, geographic location and without homelessness as a pre-requisite to receiving assistance. Short term housing assistance will meet victims’ immediate need for safety and stability and a three-tier approach will reflect the assistance format that meets their needs. Wrap-around housing focused case management and employment services will empower victims to transition to permanent, independent housing within 6-12 months. Optional follow-up services can support victims for an additional 3 to 6 months, allowing time to stabilize housing and/or to increase victim wellbeing through supplemental supports. Residents will sustain stable housing with a combination of earned income, public benefits and social services support, ideally transitioning to full independence within 6-12 months. IRC-MD will offer services statewide, with focused services to meet the demand in the most populous regions (Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Howard County, Baltimore County and Baltimore City) as well as services to address gaps in other parts of the state. Victims will access short term housing assistance and supportive services while community partners will access trainings, technical assistance and shared data. IRC’s one-stop service locations in Baltimore and Silver Spring offer expertise in housing, casework, employment services and supporting at-risk individuals. Staff will leverage established regional networks to connect victims to housing focused services including public benefits, medical and mental health care and employment with the goal of housing stability. 75% of work-eligible clients enrolled in an IRC employment program will be placed in jobs and 85% of clients will demonstrate gains in well-being through 3, 6 & 12-month program assessments. IRC-MD will also build the capacity of Maryland stakeholders to support victims of human trafficking by providing training and technical assistance and by collecting and sharing data. IRC will train 250 community partners, improving knowledge of human trafficking, victims’ rights, available services and referral mechanisms. IRC will collect, evaluate and share data, providing stakeholders with information on victim needs, services provided and program effectiveness, potentially improving service quality statewide. IRC will collaborate with the state and local trafficking task forces, with the goal of building and maintaining a coordinated and data-driven regional response to human trafficking.