Missouri's Anti-Trafficking Task Force to expand services to help nonprofits

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KFVS) - After a story aired on KFVS about a nonprofit that worked to combat human trafficking in southeast Missouri, the state's Attorney General announced that the state's Human Trafficking Task Force will now help nonprofits that are struggling to find money to continue their operations.

SEMO Rescue and Restore, an organization based out of East Prairie and Kennett, shut down in July because they lost their funding.

Attorney General Josh Hawley announced on Nov. 30 that the Task Force will offer assistance to groups like SEMO Rescue and Restore.

"Not only is finding the funding difficult, but the application process is also extremely burdensome for smaller groups in the state," Hawley said. "This is why the Task Force is stepping in – to help nonprofits navigate the complicated application process so that no other group is ever discouraged or forced to shut its doors. Empowering nonprofits in Missouri will enhance both law enforcement's ability to prosecute traffickers and our state's capacity to provide survivors with the critical services that they need."

The Human Trafficking Task Force was established in April. Members of the group include law enforcement officials, local prosecutors, social-service providers, victims' advocates, and individual human-trafficking survivors.

Groups or individuals seeking help with funding should contact Emily Russell, Executive Director of the Human Trafficking Task Force as Emily.Russell@ago.mo.gov.

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