- Central and Western Massachusetts
Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $650,000)
The goal of the FY 2019 Direct Services to Support Victims of Human Trafficking Program is to enhance the quality and quantity of services available to victims of human trafficking, as defined by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000, as amended. Funding through this program supports specialized services to victims of sex and labor trafficking, as well as for efforts to increase the capacity of communities to respond to human trafficking through the development of interagency partnerships, professional training, and public awareness activities over a three-year project period.
Under this project Ascentria will provide quality legal representation and comprehensive case management to the underserved trafficking populations of central and western Massachusetts. This project will fund a full-time staff attorney and part-time paralegal to represent trafficking victims and their families, provide presentations and trainings to increase community awareness about human trafficking, and leverage connections with local law enforcement to better equip local communities to respond to trafficking. Additionally, the project will fund a part-time case manager, working an average of 10 hours per week, to connect victims to services including housing, education, medical care, language classes, job training, employment services, and mental healthcare. Ascentria will maintain a caseload of 40 trafficking cases and provide each survivor and approximately 45 survivors family members with legal and case management services. Ascentrias person-centered model focuses on addressing the specific needs of each client in a personalized, culturally, and linguistically tailored model. The program will work to increase capacity by recruiting pro bono attorneys and will contract with Language Bank, as necessary, to ensure all clients receive linguistically appropriate assistance. Ascentria will also contract with RIA House to ensure all clients receive the mental health services they need. CA/NCF