Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles Awards $300,000 to Seven Local Programs Addressing Human Trafficking

LOS ANGELES (Dec. 11, 2017)—The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles (The Foundation) today announced that it has granted $300,000 to seven local organizations that support survivors of human trafficking in Los Angeles. According to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, human trafficking is the exploitation of human beings through force, fraud or coercion for the purposes of commercial sex or forced labor. The State Department estimates that 14,500 – 17,500 people are trafficked into the United States each year, and Los Angeles is particularly affected as a major metropolitan city with multiple international points of entry; industries that attract forced labor; and a large number of vulnerable communities including immigrants, foster youth, and homeless youth. These grants support the efforts of a broad spectrum of community organizations working together to help survivors escape exploitation, and transition to healthy, safe and empowered lives.

General Community Grants provide multiyear awards to support programs that concentrate on high-priority social issues throughout Los Angeles. The funding comes through the annual General Community Grants program at The Foundation, the largest manager of charitable assets and the leader in planned giving solutions for greater Los Angeles Jewish philanthropists. Grants in recent years have focused on sexual and domestic violence, homelessness, and support services to Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans.

This year’s recipients include:

  • 1736 Family Crisis Center
  • Alliance for Children’s Rights (Alliance)
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles
  • Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST)
  • Covenant House California (CHC)
  • Journey Out
  • Saving Innocence

“Addressing the most urgent issues affecting the general community in Los Angeles is part of our mission,” said Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Marvin I. Schotland. “Human trafficking and exploitation in all its forms remains prevalent in our society and, regrettably, Los Angeles is no exception. This year, we elected to support local organizations whose outstanding work provides critical assistance to survivors of human trafficking—collectively reaching and aiding thousands of people through their efforts.”

Among these is a $50,000 two-year grant to Saving Innocence to support the Case Management Program. The program provides intensive first response services and long-term support to 600 sexually exploited children, helping them escape sexual exploitation and live an independent life. Children are connected to a caring and experienced advocate as soon as they are identified by law enforcement, resulting in a dramatic increase in the number of children who find and stay in safe placement, and receive the support they need to start a new life.

As a leading agency approved to respond directly to crisis calls from law enforcement and to deliver immediate intervention services, since its founding in 2010, Saving Innocence has grown alongside L.A. County’s response to sex trafficking of minors, and has helped nearly 700 minors escape sexual exploitation.

Kim Biddle, Saving Innocence’s founder and CEO, stated: “This grant will help provide for the growth of our frontline team to serve even more youth survivors of commercial sexual exploitation. This support from the Jewish Community Foundation will help us achieve our vision of providing care for every child in need of escape and restoration from sex trafficking in Los Angeles County.”

Other General Community Grants recipients include:

  • 1736 Family Crisis Center (1736 FCC), Human Trafficking Program, $40,000 over two years: To connect survivors of sex trafficking to services through its 24-hour hotline and help those survivors achieve long-term safety, housing and self-sufficiency through outreach, safe shelter, and wraparound supportive services. 1736 FCC provides emergency rehabilitative services to extremely vulnerable individuals, youth, families, and veterans facing life-threatening circumstances.
  • Alliance for Children’s Rights (Alliance), Advocacy for Sexually Exploited Children Program, $40,000 over two years: To provide outreach to foster youth at risk of exploitation and help commercially sexually exploited children build new lives with pathways to independence, educational attainment, and quality employment opportunities. Alliance protects the rights of impoverished, abused and neglected children and youth by providing free legal and social services, and promoting systemic solutions.
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ), Los Angeles Labor Trafficking Project, $40,000 over two years: To provide Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander labor trafficking survivors and their families with culturally and linguistically competent legal services to protect them from exploitation, to litigate traffickers, and to provide restitution.
  • Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST), Comprehensive Case Management Program, $50,000 over two years: To promote stabilization, recovery, and self-advocacy for survivors of labor and sex trafficking. The organization is dedicated to serving survivors of all forms of human trafficking through direct programming and a network of 135 Los Angeles-based partners that provided specialized care to survivors.
  • Covenant House California, Human Trafficking Program, $50,000 over two years: To support outreach to “transition-age” youth on the street and provide survivors of sex trafficking with shelter and wraparound services to help them find housing, and establish a better life. CHC provides transitional living shelter; medical and mental health; day and street outreach; and education and employment skills, among its comprehensive range of wraparound programs.
  • Journey Out, Prostitution Diversion Program and Drop-in Center, $30,000 over one year: To provide adult survivors of sex trafficking with the knowledge, skills, resources, and support to address their trauma, escape commercial sexual exploitation, and achieve independence.

About The Foundation

Established in 1954, the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles manages charitable assets of approximately $1.1 billion entrusted to it by over 1,300 families and ranks among the 10 largest Los Angeles foundations. It partners with donors to shape meaningful philanthropic strategies, magnify the impact of giving, and build enduring charitable legacies. In 2016, The Foundation and its donors distributed over $81 million in grants to more than 2,000 nonprofits with programs that span the range of philanthropic giving. Over the past 25 years, it has distributed more than $1 billion in grants to thousands of nonprofits across a diverse spectrum.