- Western Pennsylvania
Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $798,938)
The Salvation Army (TSA) Western Pennsylvania (WPA) Division proposes to serve victims of human trafficking in the 28 counties served by TSA WPA. TSA WPA is partnering with Justice at Work (JaW) and Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR) to continue the successful comprehensive service coordination model that began under previous OVC grant award funding. Through the leadership of TSA, and partnerships with JW and PAAR, TSA WPA will maximize victim identification and the coordination of services throughout the rural areas of the region. In addition, community training and awareness and outreach events will continue to occur throughout the region.
While service coordination has already been taking place across WPA, gaps in services continue to be identified, including mobile comprehensive care management specific to victims of trafficking and emergency victim assistance, and specialized services for victims. TSA, with grant partners, community-based partners, and law enforcement partners, seeks to maximize the response system for victims and support the successful prosecution of human traffickers. TSA is currently offering victim-centered, trauma-informed, culturally appropriate comprehensive and individualized case management to victims, meeting them where they feel comfortable. Rural counties are especially lacking in victims’ services and awareness, increasing the potential for trafficking to occur in these communities. Through this grant award, TSA will enhance their emergency response services. The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) have also identified an increased need in emergency victim assistance. TSA has working with the FBI & HSI to assist these victims with materials such as clothing and hygiene supplies, and also offering an emergency hotel room until other safe housing is secured. TSA WPA partners continue to offer specialized victims services, including legal services and language access, combined with proficiency in labor trafficking cases (JaW) and clinical trauma therapy and services (PAAR) not widely available in WPA.
Capacity building, community awareness and training opportunities and partnership building will continue, and subsequently victim identification and access to services will increase. Public safety awareness will be increased by an advertising campaign on human trafficking and available services at TSA WPA centers, mostly located in more rural communities affected by poverty.