Pathfinders Milwaukee awarded nearly $500K to provide housing for human trafficking victims

Two Wisconsin organizations, one in Milwaukee, received nearly $1 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Justice to provide housing for victims of human trafficking.

According to a news release Wednesday, Aug. 5, $499,000 awarded to Pathfinders Milwaukee and $500,000 awarded to Newcap Inc. in northern Wisconsin will provide six to 24 months of transitional or short-term housing assistance for trafficking victims, including rental, utilities or related expenses, such as security deposits and relocation costs. The grant will also provide funding for support needed to help victims locate permanent housing, secure employment, as well as occupational training and counseling. 

“The funds announced here will provide direct and much-needed aid to victims of human trafficking,” said Matthew Krueger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in the release. “Combatting human trafficking remains a top priority for my office, which is among the most active U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the country in fighting this scourge. From our experience, we know that providing safe, stable housing is essential to helping victims break away from their trafficker.”

“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 Barr in the release. “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.”

The release noted a new report found that the number of human trafficking cases captured in police reports may represent only a fraction of all such cases, and expanding housing and other services to trafficking victims remains a top Justice Department priority. Newcap, Inc. and Pathfinders Milwaukee, Inc. were among 73 organizations receiving more than $35 million in grants to support housing services for human trafficking survivors.