Nebraska has received a $1.5 million grant to address the scourge of human trafficking.
A majority of the grant will provide money to meet the needs of its victims.
Attorney General Doug Peterson announced the grant will fund the work of the Nebraska Human Trafficking Task Force. While $600,000 will help fund law enforcement, $900,000 goes to victim services.
The Salvation Army of Omaha will administer the three-year grant, continuing the services it has provided the victims of human trafficking for years.
Linda Burkle, Divisional Director of Social Services for the Salvation Army in Omaha, has already hired a coordinator.
“And we’re going to have three victim service case managers in three different locations across Nebraska,” Burkle says.
The Salvation Army provides a host of services to victims, such as domestic violence shelters and other housing, medical treatment as well as therapy, even child care if needed.
Burkle says the Salvation Army has come to the aid of human trafficking victims for years.
“Keep in mind that this grant covers dealing with labor trafficking, sex trafficking, domestic trafficking, international trafficking; minors, adults,” Burkle says. “So, it covers the whole cadre of human trafficking victims.”
Burkle says there is no typical human trafficking victim. The Salvation Army, according to Burkle, has helped young girls trapped in the sex trade as well as older women with children. Burkle says human trafficking preys on the most vulnerable, including those with physical and mental disabilities. Illegal immigrants can also be targeted for labor human trafficking.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]