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Project HEAL (Helping to Empower through Advocacy & Leadership)

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Past Project Period End Date
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $900,000)

Through the FY 2019 Field-Generated Innovations in Assistance to Victims of Human Trafficking solicitation, OVC will support projects that enhance identification of and services for victims in order to meet the needs of a rapidly evolving anti-trafficking field, and to best serve victims of human trafficking. Projects will develop or enhance promising practices, models, and victim-centered programs, or apply them in innovative ways, to build the capacity of victim service providers to close gaps in assisting all victims of sex and labor trafficking in the United States. Specifically, this project will support Project HEAL: Helping to Empower through Advocacy & Leadership, a survivor leadership and peer support initiative for human trafficking survivors. The Center will work in collaboration with Rights4Girls, a fiscally sponsored project of the Tides Center; Courtney’s House, Inc.; Matahari Women Workers’ Center, a fiscally sponsored project of TSNE (Third Sector New England) MissionWorks; and CATCH Court (Changing Attitudes to Change Habits), a specialized docket certified in the Franklin County Municipal Court. Project activities will focus on three sites that will pilot peer support models: Columbus, Ohio (CATCH Court); Washington, D.C. (Courtney’s House); and Brooklyn, New York (the Center’s Project Reset). To address these gaps, Project HEAL will seek to 1) develop survivor-informed strategies and training for improving justice system responses to human trafficking; and 2) enhance the capacity of trafficking survivors to become advocates, trainers, and leaders in local anti-trafficking efforts. Project HEAL will give justice-involved survivors an opportunity to inform the development of training for justice system stakeholders, shape policy recommendations for crucial system reforms, enhance their leadership skills, and engage local stakeholders in efforts to improve justice system responses to human trafficking. Project partners also seek to place intentional focus on creating sustainable positions for survivors, and will therefore create three full-time survivor peer advocate positions for juvenile and adult justice-involved victims. CA/NCF

Date Created: September 29, 2019