Trump administration to direct $35M in grants toward housing for human trafficking survivors

Photo by the White House

The Trump administration on Tuesday is expected to award more than $35 million in grants to provide safe, stable housing to survivors of human trafficking.

The announcement is expected to come at the beginning of a White House roundtable event hosted by adviser to President Trump Ivanka Trump, who will be joined by Attorney General William Barr, as well as other Justice Department officials for domestic policy and human trafficking, and executives from organizations that combat human trafficking.

The Justice Department's Office for Victims of Crime, a component of the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs, is expected to award more than $35 million in Housing Assistance Grants for Victims of Human Trafficking to provide supportive housing and services to those survivors.

The grants would be directed to 73 organizations across the U.S. to 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.

The grants are also expected to provide funding for support needed to help those victims locate permanent housing, secure employment and receive occupational training and counseling.

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"In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, combating human trafficking in the U.S. and abroad is critical work. DOJ's grant recipients are on the frontlines of this fight, ensuring that survivors across our country are afforded safe and stable housing and empowered with the support and resources they need to rebuild their lives," Ivanka Trump said in a statement ahead of the event, which is slated to take place Tuesday afternoon.

"I am incredibly honored to join Attorney General Barr to highlight these organizations and their tireless and vital work."

Executives from organizations including Camillus House Inc., Alternatives for Girls, Jordan Community Resource Center and the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking will appear at the event, joined by some survivors of human trafficking.

President Trump appointed a special adviser for the issue earlier this year.

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During a trip to Atlanta in January to visit nonprofit groups that help victims, Ivanka Trump compared trafficking to "modern-day slavery" and said the White House is committed to ending it.

In January, Ivanka Trump announced that the president would be proposing a $42 million budget increase for 2021 to support victims and efforts to prosecute criminals who take part in human trafficking.

Human trafficking is "believed to be" one of the largest-scale crimes in the world, with 24.9 million people trapped by human traffickers who make more than $150 billion in annual profit for the industry, Ivanka Trump said earlier this year, adding that there are no demographic limitations to human trafficking, which exploits society's most vulnerable populations like women and children.

"I signed nine pieces of legislation into law that directly prevent human trafficking, and we're just getting started," President Trump said in January.

FOX Business' Audrey Conklin and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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