Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $450,000)
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.
First Nations Community HealthSource (FNCH) is New Mexicos Title V Urban Health Center, providing culturally competent comprehensive medical, dental, and behavioral healthcare to the 55,000 American Indians and Alaska Natives who reside in the City of Albuquerque. Since 1972 FNCH has offered consumer-driven healthcare and community health programming that promotes a holistic approach to wellness by integrating traditional American Indian, spiritual, cultural, and healing practices with Western medicine and evidence-based interventions. FNCHs current menu of community health offerings include: a homelessness outreach initiative; Diabetes and HIV prevention programming; a youth mentoring program; a supportive housing assistance program; social services case management; a Womens Infants and Children (WIC) program; and assistance with Medicaid enrollment. FNCH received a Project Beacon award in FY 2016 which it used to create its Education and Advocacy for Sex Trafficking Victims (EAST) program.
FNCH will use the funding from this award to sustain EAST by: (1) retaining its 1.0 FTE Lead Case Manager, and 1.0 FTE Case Manager, and hiring a new 1.0 FTE Case Manager to staff the project; (2) maintain its established referral network with its more than 30 state, tribal, and federal collaborative partners; (3) continue its efforts to train a multidisciplinary audience of tribal, state, and nonprofit professionals on how to provide a culturally appropriate, victim-centered response to Native victims of trafficking; and (4) sustain its outreach efforts to educate the general public about how trafficking affects American Indians and Alaska Natives, and to increase victims awareness of the grant-funded services.