U.S. Department of Justice: Project Beacon – Increasing Services for Urban American Indian and Alaska Native Victims of Sex Trafficking
Project Beacon is designed to help applicants develop their organizational capacity to provide direct services to American Indian and Alaska Native victims of sex trafficking through a combination of staff training and education on the topic, building strategic collaborative partnerships with other community-based organizations and agencies, and public awareness activities.
The overarching goal of this program is to increase the quantity and quality of victim-centered services available to assist American Indian and Alaska Native victims of sex trafficking in urban areas. All services provided as part of this program must respect the decision making autonomy of victims of sex trafficking; support victim self-sufficiency; and promote victims’ feelings of increased safety and well-being. With training and technical assistance, each grantee will be required to develop a comprehensive plan for the delivery of services to urban American Indian and Alaska Native victims of sex trafficking which includes, at a minimum, a plan to provide or refer victims to the following services:
- Intake and assessment of eligibility for services.
- Intensive case management, including: assessment of client needs; development of individualized service plans; assessment of eligibility for other public or community-based services; assistance in accessing publicly funded programs; safety planning; assistance with completing crime victim compensation claims; information and referral services; documentation of services provided; and routine follow-up to ensure that the victim’s needs are being met.
- Emergency shelter, transitional and permanent housing, including group and independent living options, and food/sustenance resources.
- Medical care and dental care.
- Mental health counseling, including emergency or crisis services, clinical evaluation and assessments, substance abuse treatment, and individual or group counseling as appropriate.
- Victim advocacy, including assisting victims with: accessing information about crime victim’s rights and services; communicating or coordinating with victim-witness professionals at federal agencies, as well as victim-witness professionals at state, local, or tribal law enforcement and prosecution agencies; communicating and coordinating services with victim advocates and other staff employed by tribal and non-tribal domestic violence shelter programs and rape/sexual assault response centers and programs; and communicating and coordinating services with local and tribal Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Programs/ Sexual Assault Response Teams. Specific tasks associated with advocating on behalf of victims of sex trafficking in these settings may include: keeping the victim informed of the status of an investigation or prosecution; assisting a victim with completing an application for state crime victim compensation benefits; educating victims about the availability of sexual assault medical forensic exams; accompanying victims to court proceedings; and assisting victims with exercising their rights as crime victims under federal or state law.
- Literacy education, job training, and/or education and GED assistance that is culturally appropriate.
- Life skills training, including managing personal finances, self-care, parenting classes, and programs that help victims achieve self-sufficiency.
- Employment and transportation assistance.
- Assistance with accessing culturally specific services, including, but not limited to, traditional healing ceremonies.
- Access to a 24-hour crisis response to emergency calls from clients and law enforcement, including evenings and weekends (e.g., crisis hotline, rotating cell phone coverage, call-forwarding or answering service, or a protocol for responding to afterhours victim emergencies and emergency referrals).
- Civil legal assistance, to include: assistance with screening clients for a determination of eligibility for services; legal information; explanation of legal rights/protections, including assistance in obtaining restitution and enforcing compliance with federal and state victims’ rights laws; assistance with family law matters related to the trafficking victimization, including, but not limited to, protection orders, representation in family court proceedings, and petitions for the emancipation of minors; assistance with family reunification; referrals to pro-bono attorneys; and assistance with vacating or expunging a victim’s criminal conviction for sex trafficking where allowed by law for victims of trafficking.
Amount: $1,350,000 is available for three grants of up to $450,000 each.
Eligibility: Nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations (including tribal nonprofit organizations) whose primary mission is specifically to provide services that meet the health, safety, and general welfare needs of American Indian and Alaska Native individuals who reside in urban areas.
Note: There are two webinars for applicants to learn more about this opportunity: May 11, 2016, from 1:00-2:30 pm MST and June 8, 2016 from 1:00-2:30 MST.
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