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Southeast Healthcare receives $200k in anti-human trafficking grant funding

COLUMBUS, Ohio (March 18, 2024) – Southeast Healthcare has received an Anti-Human Trafficking grant from the Office of Criminal Justice Services. The nearly $200,000 in funding will continue through the end of 2025 and cover several projects already in progress.

In January, Southeast Healthcare’s work with the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force dismantled a violent human trafficking ring. Bill Lee, CEO of Southeast Healthcare, said, “We are honored to be part of such an incredible organization like the Task Force whose mission is to end human trafficking.”
In February, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced more than $4.6 million in funding to help victim service agencies meet the needs of human trafficking survivors.
30 non-profit organizations in 14 Ohio counties will receive funding for the new Direct Services for Victims of Human Trafficking Grant Program. The grant program aims to help serve the growing number of sex and labor trafficking victims in need of support.

“This new program will help ensure that human trafficking survivors in Ohio get the specialized support they need to help take back control of their lives,” said Governor DeWine.

Services funded through the program include but are not limited to mental health services, substance use disorder treatment, education and employment support, and residential placement.

The grant program was developed in partnership with the Ohio General Assembly with funding from Ohio’s operating budget. Initially funded at $4 million, an additional $600,000 was added to the program in response to the significant number of quality grant applications.

“Human trafficking victims have unique needs and require intensive support to overcome their trauma,” said Maria Busch, state anti-trafficking coordinator for the Governor’s Human Trafficking Task Force. “These grants will allow service providers across the state to have greater capacity to meet those needs.”
Nonprofit organizations that provide direct support to victims of trafficking and/or those considered at high risk of trafficking were eligible for grant funding. Priority consideration was awarded to applicants who demonstrated evidence-based and survivor-informed programming.

In total, $9 million in funding was dedicated to combating human trafficking in Ohio’s operating budget. This historic investment is also being used toward additional local and statewide projects and to expand the Governor’s Human Trafficking Task Force, which prioritizes a holistic approach to responding to human trafficking by identifying gaps in prevention, victim services, and prosecution. As part of this new investment, the Governor announced in October a $1.8 million grant for the Ohio Domestic Violence Network to expand the number of domestic violence programs in Ohio that can provide emergency shelter services to human trafficking survivors.

To see the full list of funding awards, click here.

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