U.S. Attorney announces $1M award for housing for human trafficking victims in Colorado

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DENVER (KDVR) — United States Attorney Jason R. Dunn announced Friday that Colorado received nearly $1 million from the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs and its component, the Office for Victims of Crime, to provide safe, stable housing and appropriate services to victims of human trafficking.

“These resources are such an important extension of the work that our office and the Department of Justice are doing to fight human trafficking,” said U.S. Attorney Dunn. “We work tirelessly to find and prosecute human traffickers, but supporting survivors as they look to rebuild their lives with counseling, new housing, and new employment is equally as important.”

“Human trafficking is a barbaric criminal enterprise that subjects its victims to unspeakable cruelty and deprives them of the most basic of human needs, none more essential than a safe place to live,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “Throughout this Administration, the Department of Justice has fought aggressively to bring human traffickers to justice and to deliver critical aid to trafficking survivors. These new resources, announced today, expand on our efforts to offer those who have suffered the shelter and support they need to begin a new and better life.”

The grant went to two organizations – Street’s Hope for $492,750 and Break Free Inc. for $499,993.  They will provide six to 24 months of transitional or short-term housing assistance for trafficking victims, including rental, utilities or related expenses, such as security deposits and relocation costs, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

According to the release, the grant will also provide funding for support needed to help victims locate permanent housing, secure employment, as well as occupational training and counseling. Street’s Hope and Break Free Inc. are among 73 organizations receiving more than $35 million in OVC grants to support housing services for human trafficking survivors.

“Human traffickers dangle the threat of homelessness over those they have entrapped, playing a ruthless game of psychological manipulation that victims are never in a position to win,” said OJP Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan. “These grants will empower survivors on their path to independence and a life of self-sufficiency and hope.”

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