Grants awarded to provide services for victims of human trafficking

This year, 133 human trafficking cases have been reported in Michigan and more than 436 calls made to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center’s Hotline regarding human trafficking. To support services that help victims, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recently awarded three grants to local organizations.

“These grants will support more avenues for victims of human trafficking to receive the help and services they need,” said Nick Lyon, director of the MDHHS.

“We look forwarding to working with our community partners to develop best practices for reaching those who are most at risk.”

This is the second year MDHHS has awarded grants to help victims of human trafficking. Funding for the grants was appropriated through the legislative budget process, and supported by the governor. The grants will run Sept. 1, 2016, through Aug. 31, 2017. In total, MDHHS is providing $80,000 to support the following programs:

• Human Trafficking Emergency Room Hospital Pilot Program: Genesys Health Foundation in Genesee County - $50,000.

• Human Trafficking Community Services Grant: Alternative for Girls in Detroit - $15,000.

• Hope Project in Muskegon County - $15,000.

The goal of the Human Trafficking Emergency Room Pilot Program, awarded to the Genesys Health Foundation, is to develop, implement, and evaluate a hospital protocol for identifying, treating, and connecting victims with community resources.

In addition to the emergency room pilot program, MDHHS is supporting community-wide approaches that provide services for victims of human trafficking through the Human Trafficking Community Services Grant for Alternatives for Girls. Muskegon’s Hope Project will help to develop strategic relations – including awareness and training - for those identified as at-risk victims of human trafficking.

To report tips, ask for help, or find services, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at 888-373-7888.