Request for Proposals for Safe Harbor/ No Wrong Door Regional Navigators and American Indian Navigator

March 30, 2014

Minnesota has, in the past, arrested and prosecuted youth for prostitution. This legal framework views juveniles used in prostitution as criminals. Safe Harbor laws shift the paradigm for at risk and sexually exploited youth, viewing them as crime victims rather than criminals. Specifically, Safe Harbor laws are designed to exempt children from prostitution arrest and prosecution, train law enforcement and community members on how to identify and assist victims, increase penalties for traffickers and promote the development of a statewide system of care.
In 2011, Minnesota passed Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Youth legislation that decriminalized prostitution offenses for youth under 18. In 2013, Minnesota authorized funds to house sexually exploited youth; to conduct statewide trainings that will help communities identify and assist juveniles; and to hire a statewide director and six regional navigators as recommended in the “No Wrong Door Report: A Comprehensive Approach to Safe Harbor for Minnesota’s Sexually Exploited Youth.”  The No Wrong Door report was created collaboratively by prosecutors, public safety officials, public health professionals, child protection workers and service providers outlining a statewide social service model for commercially sexually exploited youth. Certain values and principles identified in the No Wrong Door report are foundational for both state level and regional planning and implementation. These include:
  1. Sexually exploited youth are victims not offenders
  2. Sexual exploitation can be prevented
  3. Youth should not feel isolated or trapped while receiving services
  4. Youth have a right to privacy and self-determination
  5. Services will be based in positive youth development
  6. Community members and professionals must be trained to identify sexual exploitation
  7. Services must be responsive to the needs of individual youth
  8. Services must be victim-centered, trauma-informed, and culturally inclusive and
  9. No Wrong Door is a statewide program and will be tailored to regions’ needs and resources.

To accomplish the ninth principle, above, funds were authorized to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to provide grants to fund regional navigators across the state. Navigators will serve as regional experts to coordinate victim-centered resources and services for sexually exploited youth and serve as a central resource for community members, service providers, law enforcement and youth themselves. No Wrong Door is a new initiative; therefore MDH acknowledges regions, communities and potential grantees may not have all the services, programs, partnerships and answers to end sexual exploitation. This program is intended to grow and evolve with collective effort between MDH and all Safe Harbor grantees to develop community responses and services to combat sexual exploitation. MDH has awarded four grants for regional navigators and seeks applications for four additional navigators to complete statewide coverage, including one specifically for American Indian populations. 

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible responders include governmental, non-governmental, and tribal agencies. Agencies and community partners are encouraged to submit joint applications with one fiscal agent.

Available Funding

Approximately $365,000 is available for FY 2015. MDH anticipates funding up to four grantees with amounts ranging from $70,000 to 110,000.
The deadline for submission of proposals is May 12, 2014. To meet the deadline, proposals must:

  • Be hand delivered to the address below before 4:30p.m., May 12, 2014 or
  • Arrive by mail, Fed Ex, or courier by 4:30p.m., May 12, 2014.

Street Address (hand or courier delivery)
US Postal Service mailing Address
Lauren Ryan 
Minnesota Department of Health
Injury and Violence Prevention Unit
Golden Rule Building
85 East Seventh Place, Suite 220
Saint. Paul, MN 55101
*Hand delivered proposals must be dropped off at the 2nd floor reception desk of the Golden Rule Building – Suite 220.
Lauren Ryan
Minnesota Department of Health
Injury and Violence Prevention Unit
P.O. Box 64882
Saint. Paul, MN 55164-0882

Application form
You may obtain a copy of the application by 
·         Contacting Lauren Ryan, 651-201-5412 or
·         Downloading the form that is included in this announcement.
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