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  • Writer's pictureJoe Lyons

Governor DeWine Announces Program to Enhance Support for Human Trafficking Survivors



(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today announced details of a new program to help victim service agencies meet the needs of survivors of human trafficking.

The new Direct Services for Victims of Human Trafficking Grant Program was created by Governor DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly as part of Ohio's new operating budget. A total of $4 million in funding is now available for nonprofit organizations to help them adequately serve the growing number of sex and labor trafficking victims in need of support.

“As awareness of human trafficking grows, the number of identified victims also increases, so it is absolutely critical that our local service programs have enough resources," said Governor DeWine. "This infusion of grant funding will help ensure that support for trafficking victims is widely available.”


The Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) opened the application period for the grant program today. Direct services that are eligible for funding include but are not limited to mental health services, substance use disorder treatment, education and employment support, and residential placement. Awards are expected to be announced in January 2024.


In total, $9 million in funding was dedicated to combating human trafficking in Ohio's new operating budget. This historic investment will also be used toward additional local and statewide projects and to expand the Governor's Human Trafficking Task Force, which prioritizes a holistic approach to responding to human trafficking by identifying gaps in prevention, victim services, and prosecution.


“We appreciate Governor DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly for recognizing the need for expanded victim services throughout the state," said Maria Busch, state anti-trafficking coordinator for the Governor's Human Trafficking Task force. "Those who’ve been subject to human trafficking have unique needs and often require several levels of support to move forward, and this investment will make a significant difference in helping survivors take back control of their lives."


Nonprofit organizations that provide direct support to victims of trafficking and/or those considered at high risk of trafficking will be eligible for grant funding. Priority consideration will be awarded to applicants who demonstrate evidence-based and survivor-informed programming.


Applicants must submit proposals online through the Online Grants Management System by 5 p.m. EST on Nov. 8.


A bidders training webinar for potential applicants will be held on Tuesday, October 3, at 9:30 a.m. The training is not mandatory but will provide helpful information on both the application preparation and review process. Nonprofit organizations with questions should contact the State Anti-Trafficking Coordinator at SAHTC@info.dps.ohio.gov.

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