A Muskegon-based organization formed in 2006 is one of three Michigan groups to receive a grant to continue their work helping victims of human trafficking.

This year, 133 human trafficking cases have been reported in Michigan and more than 436 calls have been made to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center’s Hotline regarding human trafficking.

To support services that help human trafficking victims, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has announced they recently awarded three human trafficking grants to local organizations.

Muskegon’s The Hope Project will help to develop strategic relations – including awareness and training - for those identified as at-risk victims of human trafficking.

“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.

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, which has been awarded to the Genesys Health Foundation, is to develop, implement, and evaluate a hospital protocol for identifying, treating, and connecting human trafficking victims with community resources.

MDHHS is also supporting community-wide approaches that provide services for victims of human trafficking through the Human Trafficking Community Services Grant for Alternatives for Girls.

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