- Hillsborough County
- Manatee County
- Pasco County
- Pinellas County
- Sarasota County
Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $799,525)
The Gulfcoast Legal Services (GLS) Human Trafficking Justice Project will serve victims of all types of human trafficking (i.e., sexual exploitation and labor) in the greater Tampa Bay area, which includes Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties of the central gulf coast of Florida. Through this project, GLS will provide victims with comprehensive trauma-informed legal services to address the range of issues that arise from the victimization. Legal services may include, but will not be limited to, immigration assistance; family law (including divorce, custody, and child support, etc.); protective orders; employment law (including wage and hour claims); public benefits access; crime victims’ rights enforcement; and other civil legal remedies. The project will also provide integrated supportive services and will deliver trainings for other community organizations, including law enforcement, who work with trafficking victims. GLS is experienced in and committed to delivering services to human trafficking victims from diverse backgrounds. In addition, GLS will work with Directions for Living to provide victims with mental health services.
The program's overarching goal is to increase the quality and quantity of the specialized services (legal assistance and mental health services) to assist victims of all forms of human trafficking. The program's objectives and key deliverables are to: 1) Provide legal services and referrals for additional case management to meet the individualized needs of at least 100 victims of human trafficking; 2) Provide specialized mental health services through a new partnership with Directions for Living for up to 30 survivors to support long-term healing from physical, social, and emotional impacts of trauma for clients; 3) Foster community partnerships among community partners (e.g., service providers, criminal justice professionals, members of the judiciary, community and faith-based organizations) to ensure trafficking victims are properly identified and referred for appropriate services; 4) Develop, with input from survivors, and deliver at least 12 (four per year) education and outreach presentations to local communities, service providers, medical providers, legal professionals, and law enforcement agencies regarding legal issues facing victims of human trafficking and to support collaborative trauma-informed processes; and 5) Conduct a program evaluation to ensure the project meets its stated goal and objectives and OJP's performance measure data reporting requirements and to generate internal improvements to the project.