Project GOLD and Ark of Freedom Alliance Align to Expand Human Trafficking Services
Kristi House was awarded a major three-year grant from the Office on Trafficking in Persons (OTIP) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. Kristi House’s program for sex trafficked girls, Project GOLD, will partner with Ark of Freedom Alliance to expand services to males, LGBTQ+ individuals and labor victims in this new initiative called Project TEAM.
Kristi House operates Project GOLD—the first and longest-running program in large Miami-Dade County dedicated to child sex trafficking. The program is based at the Project GOLD Drop-In Center, the first such site in Florida developed exclusively for underage girls overcoming trafficking.
Established in 2018, Ark of Freedom Alliance is a not-for-profit organization addressing violence and exploitation as well as sex and labor trafficking in males and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender+ identifying youth and young adults. Their work involves outreach, case management, housing linkages, and community mobilization in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.
Together, this partnership combines the means and expertise to expand and enhance services to young trafficking victims for whom services are currently scare or highly limited. The goal is to provide the wrap-around services needed to facilitate survivors’ stability and resilience, and end their exploitation and trauma. Domestic trafficking victims up to 24 years old will be served by Project TEAM.
“This project, and our partnership with Ark of Freedom Alliance, will enable us to provide much-needed, specialized services to trafficked males and LGBTQ+ individuals in our community,” CEO Amanda Altman said. “We are very excited to be forging on this path, as we know of the tremendous needs of trafficking victims, particularly for these highly vulnerable populations.”
Ark of Freedom’s CEO Nathan Earl expressed “…awe and gratitude at this historic partnership between true counter-trafficking pioneers against some of the worst injustices that exist in the form of human slavery through labor and sexual exploitation. This alliance provides the resources needed to identify and assist historically under-identified male and LGBTQ+ victims.”
This three-year program will build upon services to some 500+ girls since Kristi House began its program for sex trafficked children in 2007. It will provide Ark of Freedom Alliance major support to expand its direct services to male and LGBTQ+ victims. An Evaluation Team, Group Victory, comprised of experienced university researchers led by Dr. Stephen Ferrante will track project progress, objectives and outcomes.
The grant will further enable Kristi House to continue deepening its understanding of interventions and emotional healing for young human trafficking victims.
This announcement is supported by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the United States (U.S.) Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $359,800 with 100 percent funded by ACF/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACF/HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit the ACF website, Administrative and National Policy Requirements.