Hookers for Jesus among recipients of housing grants for sex trafficking victims

Local News

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Two organizations in Nevada will share in nearly $1 million awarded by the Department of Justice to provide housing to victims of human trafficking.

One of those organizations has a very unusual name: Hookers for Jesus, Inc.

The other organization is Rite of Passage Adolescent Treatment Centers and Schools, Inc.

Each of the organizations will receive just under $500,000 from the DOJ’s Office for Victims of Crime to provide “safe, stable housing and appropriate services to victims of human trafficking.”

The grants, announced on Tuesday by US Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich of the District of Nevada, 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.

The grants will also provide funding for support needed to help victims locate permanent housing, secure employment, as well as occupational training and counseling. These recipients 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 Kathrine T. Sullivan. “These grants will empower survivors on their path to independence and a life of self-sufficiency and hope.”

Human trafficking offenses are among the most difficult crimes to identify, and the scope of human trafficking victimization may be much greater than the limited data reflect. A new report issued by the National Institute of Justice, another component of the Office of Justice Programs, found that the number of human trafficking cases captured in police reports may represent only a fraction of all such cases. Expanding housing and other services to trafficking victims remains a top Justice Department priority.

“The District of Nevada greatly appreciates the support from the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs to help survivors in Nevada,” Trutanich said. “These grant awards will assist trafficking victims in our communities with, among other things, finding housing and employment.”

“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.

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