Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $252,576)
To meet the identified services gaps that include counseling, case management, and housing for non-youth victims, YWCA NorthEastern NY (YWCA NENY) will build their organizational capacity to provide comprehensive support services to victims of human trafficking in Schenectady County, New York. The project will provide training to existing victim services staff at YWCA NENY so that YWCA NENY’s support services for victims of domestic violence and homelessness can also accommodate trafficking victims. YWCA NENY will also hire a Human Trafficking Counselor that can fill the county’s service gaps for dedicated long-term case management and counseling for non-youth victims. The Human Trafficking Counselor will offer training to community agencies to ensure that trafficking victims in Schenectady County are properly identified and referred to the appropriate services. The Human Trafficking Counselor will also provide managed referrals to (1) internal YWCA NENY services including economic empowerment coaching, counseling, support groups, domestic violence advocacy, and affordable housing; and (2) services from various community partners offering medical and legal services as well as youth-specific shelter. By implementing a comprehensive service provision plan for trafficking victims, YWCA NENY will create new avenues for the many sex and labor trafficking victims in Schenectady to receive trauma-informed services that help them achieve increased safety, independence, self-sufficiency, and well-being.