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Trump administration giving $35 million to aid human trafficking survivors

The White House says more than 70 organizations in 33 states will share the grants.

WASHINGTON — Editor's Note: The video above is from January 14, 2020.

The Trump administration is awarding more than $35 million in Justice Department grants to organizations that provide safe housing for survivors of human trafficking.

The grants are being announced Tuesday at a White House event attended by Attorney General William Barr, presidential adviser Ivanka Trump, other administration officials, survivors of human trafficking and organizations that serve them.

The $35 million in Housing Assistance Grants for Victims of Human Trafficking is being provided by the Office for Victims of Crime within the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs to provide housing and services to human trafficking survivors.

The grants will be shared by 73 organizations in 33 states to provide anywhere from six to 24 months of transitional or short-term housing assistance to survivors, including to pay rent, utilities or related expenses, such as a security deposit, the White House said.

The money can also be used to help victims find permanent housing, get a job and receive occupational training and counseling.

Ivanka Trump, a daughter of President Donald Trump, said the coronavirus pandemic has made safe and supportive housing for survivors more important than ever. She said many survivors had to live with their traffickers during stay-at-home orders around the country.

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“The administration has heard these concerns and is responding by awarding leading nonprofit organizations the necessary funding to ensure that survivors have a stable place to live,” Ivanka Trump said in a statement.

Among organizations sharing the grants are Camillus House Inc., in Miami, Alternatives for Girls in Detroit and the Jordan Community Resource Center in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

President Trump has sought to elevate human trafficking since taking office. In January, he appointed a special adviser for the issue.

His daughter has also made human trafficking one of her issue areas.

During a trip to Atlanta in January to visit nonprofit groups that help victims, Ivanka Trump compared trafficking to “modern-day slavery” and said the White House is committed to ending it.

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Credit: AP
Ivanka Trump listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a conference call with banks on efforts to help small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, at the White House, Tuesday, April 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)