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Human Trafficking prevention services for at risk youth

Gov. Mike DeWine recently awarded Mercy Heath – Toledo Trauma Recovery Center (TRC) a $145,000 grant as part of an effort to develop and implement human trafficking prevention programs across Ohio.

Collaborating with the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Victim-Witness Assistance program,  members of both agencies were trained to help educate and offer services to vulnerable minors ages 11-17, specifically in the area of human trafficking prevention.

“The Mercy Health – Trauma Recovery Center has been essential in helping those who have suffered as a result of violent crime and now we’re looking for similar success in helping at-risk youth as we focus on victimization prevention,” said Bob Baxter, president, Mercy Health – Toledo.

Prosecutor Julia Bates noted, “This is a community problem and together we can help with solutions, comfort, care, and compassion. We are excited to be partnering with the Mercy Health Toledo Trauma Recovery Center on this initiative.”

“The Mercy Health TRC is looking forward to working collaboratively with our community to educate these youth that are at risk.” OraLee Macklenar, supervisor, Mercy Health – Toledo Trauma Recovery Center,said. “We have been working with children and adults that have already been victimized by some sort of crime since we opened our doors to the TRC. With this grant, we are able to put our energy and time into prevention in hopes that we will serve less victims.”

The grant is from a collaboration between the Governor’s Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund (OCTF), and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services’ (ODJFS) Children’s Justice Act Task Force.

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