Rep. Wild Announces Nearly $500,000 in Funding to Support Victims of Human Trafficking in PA-07
LEHIGH VALLEY – Today, U.S. Representative Susan Wild (PA-07) announced that a grant totaling $494,827 over three years from the Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime has been awarded to Valley Youth House to fund housing programs and support services for victims of human trafficking.
“The trauma these young victims endure is unimaginable – and they deserve to have the appropriate resources to recover their lives,” Wild said. “The funding secured through this grant helps make the resources to heal accessible to those who need them it most, and makes sure these victims have a safe, supportive environment in which to rebuild their lives. I’m so thankful to see this funding go toward our community through organizations like Valley Youth House which continue to support our most vulnerable.”
Due to the size and location of this region, both Lehigh and Northampton Counties experience high rates of human trafficking. This grant will specifically help fund the THRIVE program (Transitional Housing. Resilience. Independence. Victorious Empowerment.), offering housing, meals, clothes, and personal items for female-identifying victims ages 14-21, and connecting them with peer mentors, drug and alcohol treatment, psychiatric care, employment training, and medical/dental care.
“Transitional-age youth are the most vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation, yet they have been traditionally underserved through housing and life skills programs,” said Ken Klein, the Valley Youth House Vice President of Independent Living. “THRIVE will create a safe and nurturing community that allows youth to heal and grow. Youth will have individualized support in developing a plan to meet their life goals. The ultimate goal of the program is to provide the necessary skills and support for these young people to successfully reclaim their lives and have a place in the community."
Valley Youth House provides homes for Pennsylvania’s vulnerable, abused, and homeless youth. They partner with thousands of individuals each year to build a solid foundation for young people and their families through dedicated outreach, housing, counseling, skills training, health, prevention, and intervention services.