PORTLAND, Maine — Preble Street, a nonprofit human service agency based in Portland, will be expanding its services statewide for victims of labor trafficking and exploitation in Maine after receiving a new $2.5 million grant.
The grant, funded by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, will award Preble Street with $2.5 million over three years, a news release from Preble Street said Wednesday.
The nonprofit has been working with victims across Maine since 2013, according to the release, and the Preble Street Anti-Trafficking Services (ATS) has reportedly supported over 600 victims of human trafficking. The program has also enrolled around 300 victims in "intensive case management and housing support services."
With the new funds, Preble Street will partner with the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project (ILAP) and Pine Tree Legal Assistance (PTLA) to "increase comprehensive and holistic services, direct outreach, and solutions to exit situations of labor trafficking and exploitation within targeted industries," Wednesday's release said.
The nonprofit also said the funding will "help provide training to law enforcement agencies, service providers, and communities to better understand human trafficking, U.S. protections, and community resources for victims/survivors of labor trafficking."
"Maine has an active and coordinated anti-trafficking response, but it also has a high rate of trafficking, which especially impacts marginalized and underserved communities ... This critical funding will allow Preble Street and our partners to support a greater number of people through a trauma-informed, strengths-based approach and enhance our efforts to combat all forms of human trafficking," Preble Street Anti-Trafficking Services Director Jade Johnson said in the release.
To learn more about Preble Street and its services, click here.