Safe Harbor Minnesota

Safe Harbor Expansion Project Grant

MDH is seeking applications for funding to improve outcomes for children and youth who are victims of human trafficking by integrating human trafficking awareness policy, and programming at the state and Tribal government levels.  

Key Dates

Application Period Begins September 18, 2017
Letter of Intent Due October 15, 2017
Informational call September, 25, 2017 11 a.m. to Noon
Applications Due November 15, 2017
Notice to Applicants December 15, 2017
Grant Agreement Period Begins January 15, 2018

The Office for Victims of Crime has awarded the Minnesota Department of Health funds for the purpose of integrating labor trafficking into the current state Safe Harbor program. Funding to sub grantees under this grant will be for the purpose of enhancing and/or implementing direct services for labor trafficked youth, ages 24 and under.

Services include, but are not limited to, advocacy, legal assistance, case management, client safety, client well-being, education/employment assistance, health related services, provision of material and housing assistance, reunification and repatriation assistance, and support services.

Organizations applying should provide direct services to labor trafficked youth, including trauma-informed and culturally specific services and have an understanding of the OVC Comprehensive Services Model.

Eligible Applicants

Organizations eligible to apply in this competitive process include, but are not limited to, local public health, social service agencies, nonprofit organizations, tribal governments, units of government, schools and/or school districts, health care organizations, and other interested agencies demonstrating experience and/or expertise in working with labor trafficked youth.

Funding Availability, Duration and Restrictions

The total one time award amount is $800,000 for a grant period of two years. The number and amount of awards to sub grantees will be determined by the number of applicants and demonstration of need. The funding cycle will begin January 15, 2018 and end January 15, 2020.

Grant funds may be used to cover the cost of services for federally defined, potential, foreign nationals who have been pre-certified under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), and actual victims, foreign and domestic, of labor trafficking, ages 24 and under.

Pre-certification and certification is a process by which foreign nationals, who are crime victims, receive certain benefits. These funds may not be used for labor exploited individuals or for foreign national victims who have received TVPA certification unless no other option is available for the certified client. Pre-certified clients may be served for a short period of time while determining actual trafficking status. These funds may not be used concurrently with other federal grants, contracts, or sub awards. Low cost or free services must be used first when available before this award.

Grant funds may not be used for building alterations or renovations, construction, fund raising activities, political education or lobbying. Matching funds are not required.

For more information, please review and complete the RFP located below:

Q1. Can this grant cover costs for services to sexually exploited or trafficked youth?
A1. This grant is for direct services to labor trafficked youth. Please use other funding for sexually exploited youth or refer them to a Safe Harbor recipient.

Q2. How is this grant different than the Safe Harbor Supportive Services grant?
A2. Safe Harbor supportive services grants follow the MN statutes on sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. This means no force, fraud, or coercion need to be present or proven. This OVC grant is a federal funding stream that requires the use of the federal definition of labor trafficking, which must have force, fraud, or coercion present. If there is no force, fraud, or coercion, it may labor exploitation and the individual may still need services, but this grant may not cover their services.

Q3. What criteria must be met for a client to be eligible?
A3. To be eligible clients must meet the following criteria:

  1. A victim of trafficking as outlined in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act
  2. Physically present in the United States
  3. Compliance with reasonable requests from law enforcement. Minors are not required to assist with law enforcement efforts, but should be encouraged to do so when possible.
  4. If needed, received exception from OVC for any of the above criteria.

Clients must be approved by OVC. Client information is submitted to MDH, the data will be transferred to TIMS and await approval. Until approval is granted or denied, continue to serve the client using OVC funding

Q4. What services can be paid for with this grant?
A4a. OVC’s Comprehensive Service Model includes a wide variety of services that victims of human trafficking often require in order to address their needs for safety, security, and healing. No one agency is expected to provide all of the services outlined within the Model in-house; however, grantees are expected to demonstrate a coordinated, community-wide approach to ensure that each of the services outlined within the Model is available to trafficking victims identified within their community. These services include: advocacy, legal assistance, case management, client safety, client well-being, education/employment assistance, health related services, provision of material and housing assistance, reunification and repatriation assistance, and support services.
A4b. OVC requires that these funds only be used if no other option or no low cost option is available.

Q5. What if I am also a Safe Harbor recipient or Trafficking Victims Assistance Program (TVAP) recipient?
A5a. Safe Harbor funding should be used only for sexually trafficked or exploited youth and this grant should only be used for potential and actual victims of labor trafficking, ages 24 and under. Duplication of services is not allowed.
A5b. Recipients of the TVAP must ensure that any certified victim of trafficking is not using OVC funds. Pre-certified clients may use OVC funds until such time as they are certified. Upon certification, they must cease using OVC funds. Duplication of services is not allowed.

Q6. Can I train professionals or my staff with this grant?
A6. The main focus of this grant is direct services, not to train staff.  Applicants should have some expertise or experience serving labor trafficked youth or similar populations. If you are approached for training on labor trafficking, please connect them to Paula Schaefer or Amanda Colegrove at MDH.

Q7. What if we want to expand already existing services to this population?
A7. If services exist in the area but the current provider does not have the capacity to expand services to this population then this grant is a good fit.  Or if services don’t exist period in the region/area, then this also fulfills the purpose of this grant. But if your organization currently provides proposed services to this population and has the capacity to continue to do so (if staff received training etc.) , then this may not be the right grant as existing services should utilized when possible. The purpose of the grant is to fill gaps in service areas for labor trafficked youth statewide.     

Q8. Statewide services only?
A8. It is not necessary for services to be offered statewide for this grant; however preference will be given to greater geographic coverage and/or high population concentrations. 

The applicant should look at population size and what geographic coverage is realistic for the agency, recognizing partnerships can allow for greater coverage than single agency proposals.

All questions regarding this RFP should be submitted to Amanda Colegrove by email and phone / 651-201-5419.

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