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Source: United States House of Representatives – Representative Nita Lowey (17th District of New York)

WHITE PLAINS, NY – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/ Westchester-Rockland), Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, today announced a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) grant from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) totaling $925,000 for My Sisters’ Place, Inc. (MSP) of White Plains. The grant will help MSP enhance the quality and quantity of services available to assist victims of human trafficking.

“The exploitation of women, men, and children for profit is a severe violation of human rights,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “I am pleased My Sisters’ Place will use these federal dollars to continue their robust assistance for those who have been forced or coerced into unwanted labor, sexual, or other service situations. We must do everything in our power to identify and combat human trafficking, and I will continue fighting to secure resources that protect our region from these atrocities while supporting survivors in our communities.”

This grant will enable MSP to assist more trafficking victims in and around Westchester County with comprehensive, timely services to recover and restore stability in their lives. This includes providing specialized education and skills-building professional development to service providers, law enforcement officials, and faith-based organizations to improve their ability to identify, assess, investigate, and refer or provide services to human trafficking victims; increasing the number of collaborative partners who provide critical services to human trafficking victims in Westchester; and developing an evaluation plan that will assist MSP and partner agencies to improve service delivery and outreach efforts.

“Human Trafficking (HT) remains pervasive, under-recognized, and under-reported,” said Karen Cheeks-Lomax, Esq, CEO of My Sisters’ Place. “The renewal of this funding from the Office on Victims of Crime will enable My Sisters’ Place (MSP) to continue to meet the needs of survivors through the provision of comprehensive case management and legal services. We will be strengthening our work in the communities we serve with outreach, education, and training, improving the response to HT among law enforcement, healthcare providers, faith-based organizations and government agencies. We are grateful for Congresswoman Lowey’s continued support of this critical need.”

Ensuring safe and secure communities is a priority for Congresswoman Lowey, and she believes residents have the basic right to live in communities free from fear and violence. That is why, as Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Lowey is committed to increasing federal investments in programs that protect victims of domestic and gender-based violence; advance commonsense gun safety initiatives; combat the youth e-cigarette epidemic; eliminate drunk driving; and ensure law enforcement officers, firefighters, and EMTs are trained and equipped to keep our communities safe.