Brooks and Spaull Unveil Public Awareness Campaign for Safe Harbour Program
Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks was joined by Center for Youth Executive Director Dr. Elaine Spaull for the launch of a new public awareness campaign to highlight the pervasive issue of human trafficking and the success of the County’s collaborative Safe Harbour Program.
“Monroe County has already stepped-up in a big way to be a community that makes a difference when it comes to human trafficking and this new campaign will be a success if it connects even one victim with the system of support that’s here to help,” said Brooks. “My thanks to Executive Director Spaull, the entire Center for Youth, and all of our public, private, and non-profit partners who came together to make Safe Harbour a reality.”
In New York State budget year 2012-13 Monroe County was selected as one of five counties to receive targeted funds to promote awareness of youth trafficking and provide comprehensive services to potential victims. The County’s Department of Human Services partnered with The Center for Youth to capitalize on those funds and implement the Safe Harbour program in our community with involvement from local enforcement, schools, healthcare providers, and youth services organizations.
Safe Harbour utilizes a multi-dimensional approach to relieving dangerous and sexually exploitive situations for youth through the provision of safe housing, case management, and community-wide education and advocacy, among other systems of support. Last year alone, Safe Harbour held over 85 awareness, outreach, and training events, reaching more than 1,000 youth, 1,000 adults, and 75 agencies in our area. The program has also directly identified 29 victims of human trafficking since May of 2013.
“We credit the rise in identification to Safe Harbour’s efforts to raise awareness and conduct training with schools, healthcare providers a
nd others who work with youth across the county,” Spaull said. “Unfortunately, we know there are more young people in our communities who need our help, and our hope is that these videos help us reach them.”
As a part of the new campaign, the County and Center for Youth collaborated with local filmmakers from Rochester Institute of Technology to create two public awareness videos that will assist in education and awareness efforts. The videos will be widely distributed throughout the community and are currently available online at centerforyouth.net.