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Press Release

U.S. Attorney Erica H. MacDonald Announces Nearly $1.5 Million In Funds To Support Victims Of Human Trafficking In Minnesota

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota

U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald today announced that the state of Minnesota received nearly $1.5 million from the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and its component, the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), to provide safe, stable housing and appropriate services to victims of human trafficking.

“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. “Throughout this Administration, the Department of Justice has fought aggressively to bring human traffickers to justice and to deliver critical aid to trafficking survivors. These new resources, announced today, expand on our efforts to offer those who have suffered the shelter and support they need to begin a new and better life.”

“Safe and stable housing is an integral step in the healing process and the path towards independence and a future free from exploitation,” said United States Attorney Erica MacDonald. “These grants awarded today will provide much needed funding for housing and related expenses for victims of all forms of human trafficking throughout Minnesota.”

The grants, awarded to the Link, Face to Face Health and Counseling Service Inc., and to Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota, will provide six to 24 months of transitional or short-term housing assistance for all forms of human trafficking victims, including rental, utilities or related expenses, such as security deposits and relocation costs. Funds will also provide 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.


Amount Awarded

The Link


Face to Face Health and Counseling Service, Inc.


Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota



“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 Katharine 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 OJP, 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.

OVC, for example, hosted listening sessions and roundtable discussions with stakeholders in the field in 2018 and launched the Human Trafficking Capacity Building Center. From July 2018 through June 2019, 118 OVC human trafficking grantees reported serving 8,375 total clients including confirmed trafficking victims and individuals showing strong indicators of trafficking victimization.

U.S. Attorney MacDonald’s public service announcement aimed at raising awareness and reaching victims is available here.

For a complete list of the individual award amounts and jurisdictions that will receive funding, visit:


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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600



Updated August 4, 2020

Human Trafficking