Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $950,000)
Refugee Services of Texas, Inc. (RST) will implement a collaborative and comprehensive service model to enhance the quality and quantity of services available to assist victims of human trafficking. The proposed initiative, Survivors of Trafficking Empowerment Program (STEP), will serve all human trafficking victims in Texas’ RGV region of Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy Counties and in the greater Houston area of Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, and Montgomery Counties. STEP will build upon RST and partners’ previous efforts to serve human trafficking victims. To accomplish program goals, RST will implement services aligned with the following objectives: 1) provide high quality case management services and referrals to essential services that address the individualized needs of victims of all forms of human trafficking in the proposed regions; 2) enhance interagency collaboration and response coordination across the proposed regions through improved community partnerships and provision of training and outreach activities; and 3) conduct data collection and evaluation activities to determine if the program is meeting stated goals and objectives. Key deliverables will include: an on-call response for the National Trafficking Hotline, local law enforcement and social service agencies in the proposed regions; case management and counseling services for victims; and enhanced training for local communities and law enforcement on the identification and reporting of human trafficking in the service areas. Desired outcomes include increased economic self-sufficiency for victims; increased identification of victims; and enhanced data collection.