Crisis Center receives STOP grant for human-trafficking training


Grand Island's Crisis Center is sending staff members to a conference that promises to equip them with the tools they need to spot and respond to human trafficking, thanks to a $5,000 grant.

The STOP (Stop Trafficking on the Plains) fund was recently formed by two couples - Susan and Travis Hageman and Cyndi and Dale Wieseman - along with the Grand Island Community Foundation to provide support for efforts to address labor and sex trafficking.

The Grand Island Community Foundation announced Wednesday that they disbursed the first grant out of the STOP fund in response to a request by the Crisis Center of Grand Island. The Crisis Center appealed to the Foundation for the funds necessary to send three staff members to the October JUST Conference in San Diego, Calif.

Billed as “the nation’s leading conference on juvenile sex trafficking,” the JUST event promises to equip Crisis Center staff with some of the tools they need to bolster their expertise in the area of assistance to survivors of human trafficking.

“In our efforts to pursue our mission of breaking the cycle for all lives affected by domestic violence and sexual assault,” says Crisis Center executive director Alexis Larson. “We’ve increasingly found that survivors of that kind of violence often acknowledge a current or past situation in trafficking. With an increase in the numbers of survivors in the four counties we serve, it is imperative that we have trained and educated individuals to assist these survivors.”

Along with the STOP fund grant, Grand Island Community Foundation as part of its twice-yearly granting process also awarded the following agencies grant monies to complete or continue projects or programs:

  • Central Nebraska Council on Alcoholism and Addictions - $2,500 for Prime Life
  • Crisis Center - $5,000 for human trafficking training
  • GIPS Foundation - $3,254 for Quilted Conscience
  • Heartland United Way - $3,456 for Day of Action
  • Junior Achievement - $2,500 for program support
  • Leadership Tomorrow - $1,425 for Real Colors
  • Literacy Council - $5,000 for the expansion of new student services
  • Multicultural Coalition - $5,000 for the Conversational English program
  • Salvation Army - $4,000 for the Men’s Shelter program
  • St. Francis Community Services - $5,000 for Cultural Accommodation
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