- Central and Western Massachusetts
Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $800,000)
Services available to victims of human trafficking in Massachusetts are concentrated in the Greater Boston area, making access to these services difficult if not impossible for survivors who live in Central and Western Massachusetts. Ascentria has worked to fill that void and provides legal services and case management services to survivors of human trafficking primarily in Central and Western Massachusetts. Ascentria’s person-centered, survivor-informed model focuses on addressing the specific needs of each client in a personalized, culturally, and linguistically tailored model. Program services include: representation in immigration matters, probate and family court matters, and criminal justice advocacy in addition to comprehensive case management. Ascentria also regularly receives requests for trafficking victim’s services.
Ascentria proposes to expand legal representation and comprehensive case management to the underserved trafficking populations of Central and Western Massachusetts. This funding will enable Ascentria to serve and maintain an additional caseload of 37 trafficking cases and provide each survivor and their eligible family members with legal and case management services. This grant would fund a part-time staff attorney, a full-time paralegal, a full-time case manager, and a part-time legal services coordinator to represent trafficking victims and their families, provide comprehensive survivor-informed case management services, provide presentations and trainings to increase community awareness about human trafficking, and leverage connections with local law enforcement to better equip local communities to respond to trafficking. Specifically, the case manager will connect victims to services including housing, education, medical care, ESL classes, job training, employment services, and behavioral healthcare to address their trauma of being trafficked. Ascentria has a long history of providing high-quality legal representation to survivors of human trafficking and endeavors to provide a survivor-centered model with wrap-around services to trafficking survivors.