Congressional Delegation Applauds Grant to Assist Young Victims of Sex Trafficking Awarded to Covenant House Alaska

Today, U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young, all R-Alaska, announced that the U.S. Department of Justice has awarded $950,000 in grant funding to Covenant House Alaska to assist minor victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

“Human trafficking is undoubtedly one of the most horrific crimes and is unfortunately happening in all corners of the state. It’s the second fastest growing crime on Alaska soil—happening in plain sight,” said Senator Murkowski. “As we continue to work to put an end to these heinous crimes, my hope is these grants will help make significant strides in helping victims get the support they so desperately need and deserve.”

“Alaska’s homeless youth not only face the hazards of subzero winter nights and a lack of food or warm clothing, but also the very real danger of exploitation and sex trafficking, which we know are all too prevalent in our state,” said Senator Sullivan. “At Covenant House Alaska, these kids find refuge—a safe place to sleep, a healthy meal, warm clothing, basic medical services and trauma counseling, support in finding employment or getting their high school degree, and a team of supportive and encouraging mentors. This Justice Department grant will bolster Covenant House Alaska’s work reaching young victims of trafficking, offering them support and the life they deserve filled with opportunity and hope.”

“I am so proud of the work Covenant House Alaska does to provide compassionate care and shelter for homeless youth, and those who have been victims of human trafficking,” said Congressman Young. “There is much work to do in the fight against child exploitation, but I know this funding will go a long way toward helping Covenant House Alaska protect some of our state’s most vulnerable populations of young people. I am grateful to the Department of Justice for making this funding available to the dedicated advocates at Covenant House Alaska for the necessary work they do every day. I will continue working in Congress to ensure that our nation’s most important resource – our young people – are protected from the scourge of human trafficking, sexual abuse, and exploitation.”

“This funding from the Department of Justice is important news for Covenant House Alaska as we continue working to help victims of sex trafficking,” said Alison E. Kear, Chief Executive Officer of Covenant House Alaska. “One of our highest priorities is to ensure that Alaska’s children are free from sexual, emotional, or physical abuse. This grant will help us continue to meet these priorities well into the future and we are grateful to the Department of Justice and all who were involved in securing this grant. We are not alone in this fight. We look forward to continuing our work alongside Priceless, the Alaska Native Justice Center, and the Alaska Congressional Delegation to ensure that Alaska’s children are safe, protected, and empowered to reach their full potential.”

BACKGROUND: The United States Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs announced awards totaling more than $143.7 million in grant funding to enhance state, local and tribal jurisdictions’ capabilities to reduce crime and victimization, protect children and promote public safety. $500,000 was awarded to Covenant House Alaska in support of treating child and youth trafficking victims as part of the Department of Justice’s Integrated Services for Minor Victims of Human Trafficking Program. An additional $450,000 was awarded to Covenant House Alaska to support prevention and intervention efforts and specialized services as part of the Specialized Services and Mentoring for Child and Youth Victims of Sex Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation Program. Click here for a full list of awards.

Related Issues: Budget, Spending, and the National Debt