Crist Announces Over $1 Million to Bolster Legal Services for Human Trafficking Victims

Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Charlie Crist (D–St. Petersburg) announced two grants totaling $1,149,525 to Gulfcoast Legal Services and Florida Legal Services to provide legal support to victims of human trafficking. The first grant totaling $799,525 has been awarded to Gulfcoast Legal Services to provide victims with comprehensive, trauma-informed legal services. Meanwhile, $350,000 has been awarded to Florida Legal Services for a new, three-year Human Trafficking Legal Assistance Project in Central Florida to help victims reenter society.

“Gulfcoast Legal Services and Florida Legal Services provide top-notch legal support to residents across Florida,” said Rep. Crist. “I’m thrilled this funding is going to these incredible organizations so they can continue their work of supporting victims of human trafficking and helping them to safely and successfully reenter society.”

“Gulfcoast Legal Services is thrilled to have received funding for this project, which will bring additional resources to the Tampa Bay region to help individuals escape human trafficking. We appreciate Congressman Crist’s support in addressing this complex issue,” said Tammy Greer, CEO of Gulfcoast Legal Services.

"Florida Legal Services is a statewide non-profit civil legal office dedicated to assisting vulnerable and exploited people across the state,” said Christopher Jones, Executive Director of Florida Legal Services. “Human trafficking exploits the most vulnerable Floridians, forcing them to perform jobs under threats of harm or by force. Reported cases of human trafficking in Florida have increased year over year, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Rep. Charlie Crist has worked tirelessly to ensure that organizations in the State of Florida are funded to continue to serve the needs of survivors of trafficking. This new federal funding will bring services to areas of the state that have historically lacked sufficient resources to identify, serve, and provide wraparound legal services to vulnerable populations affected by human trafficking."

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