MONTGOMERY— Gov. Robert Bentley has awarded a $210,888 grant to support the work of an Alabama nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing and restoring victims of human trafficking.
The WellHouse will use the grant to help rescue and rehabilitate trafficking victims who have been sexually exploited. Since assisting its first victim in 2011, the Leeds-based organization has served nearly 300 victims.
“Human trafficking is a despicable crime that does great damage to the lives caught in its snare,” Bentley said. “I fully support the important mission of the WellHouse as they rescue victims and work with them throughout the entire recovery process.”
Through its programs, WellHouse assists victims with both short- and long-term needs. Assistance includes an emergency hotline, temporary shelter and long-term housing. The center also provides therapy sessions and intensive case management designed to lead victims to a successful transition to independent living.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grant from funds made available by the U.S. Justice Department. ADECA administers an array of programs supporting law enforcement and traffic safety, economic development, energy conservation, water resource management and recreation development.
“Those victimized by this horrible crime face a long road to recovery. Fortunately, agencies like the WellHouse offer a helping hand throughout the whole process,” ADECA Director Jim Byard Jr. said. “ADECA is pleased to partner with WellHouse to help survivors receive the essential care and support they need as they take steps to return to independent living.”
Bentley informed Al Worthington, chairman of WellHouse’s board, that he had approved the grant. Matching funds of $52,722 will supplement the grant.
In addition to grant funds, the WellHouse depends on private, individual contributions to ensure that a full range of services remains available to victims.
Contact: Mike Presley or Jennifer Ardis Elmore