Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $900,000)
Project Rescue was established in 2006 to serve sex and labor trafficking victims – adult and child, foreign and US born- through comprehensive case management, advocacy, immigration legal aid, and community-based wraparound services to address victims needs in the first year after a victim has been rescued. Project Rescue also provides statewide training to service providers and law enforcement on victim identification and outreach, and leads a coordination and collaboration effort to improve community-based service and referral systems for trafficking victims through the CT Coalition Against Trafficking. CIRI partners with The Center for Family Justice/Child Advocacy Center in Bridgeport to improve the utilization of the Multidisciplinary Model to address minor sex trafficking, with a concerted focus on foreign born youth, including unaccompanied minors. Additionally, CIRI will leverage partnerships and services sustained with our OVC 2019 Comprehensive Services Grant to continue to provide services to all victims statewide, while deepening our impact in the Stamford and Norwalk communities, the state’s third and sixth largest CIRIs. The State of Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) serves as a leading service provider and coordinator for domestic minor trafficking victims in the proposed project, however, the state does not receive every case and does not have the capacity to serve every case, especially where trafficking is not apparent. The project’s geographic focus is the State of Connecticut, with specific focus on high-need municipalities of Stamford, Norwalk, and Bridgeport, with a total population of over 300,000, and all hosting large immigrant populations. Funding will be used to sustain and grow the project’s case management capacity into Stamford and Norwalk, support immigration legal services, provide resources to partner organizations for critical direct services, and to conduct community training and collaboration to improve the statewide identification and service response to the problem of human trafficking in the state.