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Three-Times Hidden: Overcoming Layers of Invisibility to Advance a Service Model for Urban AI/AN Victims of Sex-Trafficking

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

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.

Based in San Francisco, California, Friendship House Association of American Indians (FHAAI) is a 501 (c)(3) organization that was founded in 1963 to meet the needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives who were relocated to the San Francisco Bay area during the federal termination era. FHAAI continues to provide essential services to members of Bay area’s estimated 22,000 American Indians and Alaska Natives. FHAAI currently operates an 80-bed, licensed and accredited, residential substance abuse treatment program where Native American adults can stay for up to 180 days and participate in culturally appropriate and trauma-informed individual, group, and family therapy, and also access traditional healing practices. FHAAI also operates a smaller, specialized residential substance abuse treatment program for expectant mothers and mothers of children age 0-5. Additionally, FHAAI supports a youth center, where Native youth can access academic enrichment activities, receive college counseling, and participate in cultural activities including classes on drumming, beadwork and regalia making, and pow wow dancing.

FHAAI will use the funds from this award to: (1) hire a 1.0 FTE Case Manager, .25 FTE Licensed Psychologist, and .40 FTE Intake Coordinator to staff the project; (2) implementing screening protocols and training its staff to identify adult victims of sex trafficking among its current clients; (3) develop a plan to provide comprehensive services to victims of sex trafficking; (4) execute memoranda of understanding with key collaborative partners in order to facilitate victim access to a seamless referral networks; (5) conducting outreach and education activities to increase the community’s awareness and understanding of how sex trafficking impacts Native Americans in the Bay area; and (6) provide training to multidisciplinary audience of professionals on how to provide a culturally appropriate, trauma-informed response to Native victims of sex trafficking.


Date Created: September 30, 2019