Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $950,000)
Innovations Human Trafficking Collaborative (IHTC) will provide trauma-informed, culturally relevant support and resource assistance for 300 sex and labor trafficking survivors in the South Puget Sound region, including Thurston, Pierce, Mason, and Lewis counties, and among ten Native American tribes throughout Western Washington including Nisqually, Chehalis, Tulalip, Puyallup, Cowlitz, Quileute, Lower Elwa Klallam, Muckleshoot, and Hoh tribes. The overall purpose of the project is to support human trafficking victims and survivors in escaping from exploitive and harmful sex and labor trafficking, and to further strengthen the human trafficking response system in the South Puget Sound region. Additionally, IHTC will provide training and technical support on best practices for local law enforcement, health, mental health, and social services providers while also mobilizing a network of non-profits, government agencies, the faith community, tribal elders, and businesses who are positioned to positively impact the lives of people seeking to escape human trafficking. IHTC is the primary provider of human trafficking support in the South Puget Sound region and among tribes throughout Western Washington. IHTC will provide continued support and assistance for all human trafficking survivors in the region and will focus on increased and targeted outreach among Indigenous, Latinx, LGBTQ2IA+, and unhoused people, all of whom are disproportionately impacted by human trafficking. IHTC will also increase its collaboration among federal, state, and local law enforcement to better support labor trafficking survivors. The primary activities IHTC will provide include information and referrals to vital community resources; emotional support, safety, and health; personal advocacy; safe shelter and housing; assistance navigating the criminal justice system; and support in identifying and pursuing an educational/career pathway. With this project, IHTC seeks to build upon its services and systems-building successes over the past three years in accomplishing the following outcomes: support and assistance for an increased number of human trafficking survivors; increased support and assistance for communities disproportionately affected by human trafficking; increased collaboration with law enforcement in helping survivors of labor trafficking; and continued improvement in human trafficking response systems and interagency coordination to better support human trafficking survivors throughout South Puget Sound and among Western Washington tribes.