Moving in the Right Direction on Anti-Trafficking Appropriations
Good news on the Senate’s commitment funding the fight against human trafficking! While the appropriations process is far from over, ATEST is pleased that the Senate Appropriations Committee has reported increased funding and strengthened report language on two appropriations bills that are very important to our work.
Easier Pathway to Services for Runaway and Homeless Youth
Teenagers and young adults who are living on the streets are among the most vulnerable to human trafficking. We know that most youth experiencing homelessness do not become homeless because they receive an eviction notice from a landlord or lose their home to foreclosure. The vast majority of youth experience homelessness because they are fleeing domestic violence or sexual abuse; exit foster care with nowhere to go; or are pushed out of their home due to family rejection or poverty. But current regulations require arduous third-party verification to “prove” homelessness in order to access shelter and other services. This has been a high barrier for too many youth.
The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) approved language ATEST had requested, to eliminate the third party documentation requirement that has kept too many youth and adults ages 18 to 24 from receiving housing and other critical services.
The subcommittee also recommended $40 million to continue implementation of comprehensive approaches to serving homeless youth, which exceeded ATEST’s request by $7 million!
Increased Funding for Critical Assistance to Human Trafficking Survivors
As we know too well, trafficking victims are subjected to physical, mental, and sexual abuse. The need and deserve support and services to begin healing and recovery, including counseling, housing, medical care, support groups, and legal assistance.
We are pleased that the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Subcommittee (CJS) approved a recommendation for $47,649,000 for services and task force activities for U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and foreign nationals who are victims of trafficking. This amount represents a slight increase over ATEST’s $45 million request.
We continue to work for increased funding and stronger report language across eight appropriations subcommittees. Our Appropriations Guide provides all of these requests and more information about why it is so important to increase the federal government’s investment in the fight to end modern slavery.