Cal OES Announces $20 Million in Grants to Protect and Empower Survivors of Human Trafficking


Funding will allow expansion of support services available statewide

SACRAMENTO – In an effort to continue providing services to Californians who have experienced human trafficking, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) today announced $20 million in grants for local partners statewide.

Known as the Human Trafficking Victim Assistance Program, this funding to community-based organizations helps increase and expand life-saving services for human trafficking survivors. This Program has increased from $10 million in grants representing 15 counties, to $20 million total funding going to 21 counties statewide.

This announcement is timely as April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

“We hope this funding will help provide human trafficking survivors the support they need to recover and heal from unmentionable trauma,” said Mark Ghilarducci, Director of Cal OES. “We honor the important work community groups do on the ground to help Californians in need and look forward to the continued partnership to make a difference in the lives of survivors.”

Cal OES is distributing these grants to 31 community-based organizations to ensure human trafficking survivors (both sex and labor trafficking) receive the specialized recovery support to help ease them back into society, including case management, outreach and referral programs, and trauma-informed, survivor-centered counseling.

“We don’t center the victimization of trafficking, we center the person, we center their needs, and we center their values and beliefs – and that changes their story,” said K Thomas, Clinical Training Manager at Project LIFE at North County Lifeline. “Through this funding, our coordinated efforts intend to achieve the following in the next 12 months: provide at least 40 survivors with emergency shelter; provide at least 40 survivors with housing assistance; provide at least 40 survivors with counseling; refer at least 30 survivors to supportive services.”

Funding will also be used to assist with other survivor-related needs that include prepaid cell phones, relocation expenses, security deposits for rental housing, court/legal fees, medical care, and tickets for transportation home if a person has been trafficked at a distance from family.

“To receive funding from this grant award would not only mean increasing the services in the city of Fresno, but to increase the impact agencies can make throughout the Central Valley from Merced County all the way through Kern County,” said Misty Gattie-Blanco, Director of Sanctuary and Support Services at Fresno EOC. “It ensures that survivors have access to trauma-informed and survivor-centered spaces. These funds support the ongoing education and training on both sex and labor trafficking so that communities can properly identify survivors. It funds the opportunities to collaborate with law enforcement and our community to holistically support individuals identified. It provides us the ability to increase capacity and serve 500 or more individuals each year.”

This award period is the first of three $20 million awards, totaling $60 million.

2021-22 Grant Awardees

Applicant Counties
Volunteers of America of Los Angeles Los Angeles
North County Lifeline, Inc. San Diego
WEAVE, Inc. Sacramento
Waymakers Orange
Stand Up Placer Placer
Covenant House California Los Angeles
Sacramento Regional Family Justice Center Foundation Sacramento
Fresno County Economic Opportunities Commission Fresno
Women’s Transitional Living Center, Inc. Orange
Stanislaus Family Justice Center Foundation Stanislaus
Ruby’s Place Alameda
Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault Kern
Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking Los Angeles
1736 Family Crisis Center Los Angeles
Motivating, Inspiring, Supporting and Serving Sexually Exploited Youth Alameda
Justice At Last San Mateo
San Francisco Network Ministries Housing Corporation San Francisco
Napa Solano SANE SART Solano
Community Solutions for Children, Families, and Individuals Santa Clara
Family Assistance Program San Bernardino
REACH the Valley Riverside
Opening Doors, Inc. Sacramento
Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach San Francisco
Interface Children & Family Services Ventura
Verity Sonoma
Forgotten Children Los Angeles
Alliance for Community Transformations Merced
Community Violence Solutions Contra Costa
Children’s Legacy Center Shasta
University of California, San Francisco Alameda
Wind Youth Services Sacramento


The previous year’s 2020-21 grants have helped make a difference in the lives of thousands of survivors already.

By the Numbers: Program Statistics from 2020-21*

  • 3,380 sex trafficking survivors helped
  • 849 labor trafficking survivors helped
  • 396 sex and labor trafficking survivors helped
  • 8,375 outreach services, including linkage to community support services, drop-in service centers, and shelters
  • 19,449 food donations/meal services
  • 1,531 individuals received temporary safe shelter
  • 12,678 shelter services (e.g., emergency shelter services, medium to long-term shelter facilities, subsidized apartments and transitional housing)
  • 2,751 individuals who received service coordination and referral services, including coordination with health/medical and/or dental services, law enforcement agencies, social service agencies, court services, and mental health services
  • 7,797 information and referral services
  • 21,491 counseling services (e.g., crisis counseling, individual, and/or group counseling)
  • 41,332 case management services
  • 2,508 legal assistance services

*These stats are from the previous 21 subrecipients of the Program, representing 15 counties with grant funding totaling $10 million.

Human trafficking is the fastest-growing criminal enterprise of the 21st century, an estimated $150 billion industry that is second only to drugs in terms of organized crime. California is particularly vulnerable to human trafficking because of factors such as proximity to international borders, numerous ports and airports, significant immigrant populations and large economies that include industries that attract forced labor.


The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, Grants Management Division is responsible for the administration of approximately $1 billion in funds for homeland security, emergency management, public safety, and victim services programs. The majority of these grants are distributed to local and regional entities to enable the most effective prevention, detection, response and recovery efforts to disasters and other threats to communities. Improving and enhancing local agencies’​ capabilities through grant funding is one of Cal OES’s most important missions.