Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $950,000)
The program will enhance the quality and scope of services available for minor victims of human trafficking in the Greater Houston Area (Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Galveston, Waller, Brazoria, Liberty, and Chambers counties) through collaborative partnerships, increased capacity for legal representation, and by recruiting, screening, and training social work interns. The YMCA’s client-centric approach addresses current gaps in services in three ways: 1) educating and empowering the client about the process and pathway to recovery; 2) ensuring all legal needs are met (either in-house or through direct referrals to partner agencies); and 3) assessing and addressing the social service needs of each client, with a focus on addressing mental health needs. Working with the organization’s existing crime victims’ programs’ management and supervision structure, project staff will receive the necessary support and assure quality services to clients. This program will develop comprehensive response protocols to ensure that all minor victims of labor trafficking are identified and referred for holistic case management services including housing, food, medical, mental health, educational, legal, and transportation.