Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $447,390)
The Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019 created a 5% set-aside to improve crime victim services in Indian country in the Crime Victims Fund receipts that the Office for Victims of Crime used to make grant awards in Fiscal Year 2019. Project Beacon: Increasing Services to Urban American Indian and Alaska Native Victims of Sex Trafficking (Project Beacon) furthers the goals of the set-aside funding by increasing the quantity and quality of holistic, victim-centered services available to assist American Indian and Alaska Native victims of sex trafficking in urban areas. By bridging the divide between American Indian and Alaska Native victims of sex trafficking and nonprofit, nongovernmental programs that serve American Indians and Alaska Natives, Project Beacon aims to provide these victims with access to services that meet their cultural, linguistic, and spiritual needs.
The Missoula Urban Indian Health Center (MUIHC) is a 501(c)(3) healthcare program for American Indians and Alaska Natives in Missoula, Montana. Founded in 1970, MUIHC was envisioned as a gathering place for Native Americans who had migrated to Missoula from reservation communities for job opportunities, or to pursue higher education. Currently MUIHC provides holistic, culturally appropriate care to Missoulas population of almost 5,000 Native Americans, as well as those who reside in rural communities near Missoula. MUIHCs services include primary medical care, preventative care, as well as mental health counseling for individuals, families, couples, and groups, and substance abuse counseling. MUIHC also integrates traditional healing practices into its work, such as sweat lodge and smudging.
MUIHC will use the funding from this award to: (1) hire a 1.0 FTE Project Coordinator, .50 FTE Case Manager, and .20 FTE Intake Coordinator to staff the project; (2) develop a plan to deliver comprehensive services to meet the needs of American Indian and Alaska Native victims of sex trafficking; (3) execute memoranda of understanding with key collaborative partners in order to create a seamless referral network for victims of sex trafficking; (4) conduct community education and outreach activities to increase the communitys awareness of how sex trafficking impacts American Indian and Alaska Native victims; and (5) provide training to a multidisciplinary audience of professionals who are responsible for responding to incidents of sex trafficking in order to promote a culturally appropriate, victim-centered response to Native victims of sex trafficking.