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YWCA Niagara gets $1.4 million for crisis housing, support for victims of trafficking

More than 70 per cent of known human trafficking victims identified by police are under the age of 25 and 28 per cent are under the age of 18
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A Niagara organization supporting vulnerable youth and families in the region has been awarded $1.4 million to start a new program to support young victims and survivors of human trafficking.

YWCA Niagara Region will be delivering a residential program for youth aged 16 to 24 who have experienced trafficking, as well as providing access to crisis housing, trauma therapy, peer support and cultural connection.

The program is one of 27 new projects funded by the provinces' Anti-Human Trafficking Community Supports and Indigenous-led initiatives funds.

“With human trafficking being one of the fastest-growing crimes worldwide, there is a critical need for more services to help victims and survivors,” said Sam Oosterhoff, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education, and MPP for Niagara West.

“These new programs will help young people rebuild their lives so they can pursue their dreams free from exploitation.”

“Through our work with the community and survivors of human trafficking, the need was identified for a safe, secure housing program to provide supports for victims in Niagara,” said Elisabeth Zimmerman, Executive Director, YWCA Niagara Region.

“We are most grateful for the funding that we have received as it will ensure this much needed service will be in the region.”

Ontario has been labeled a hub for human trafficking, and according to police data it is young individuals who are at the highest risk.

The province has earmarked $307 million in its strategy to combat sex trafficking.