Home Health Mercy Health to create human trafficking prevention programs

Mercy Health to create human trafficking prevention programs

Mercy Health to create human trafficking prevention programs

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) – Governor Mike DeWine awarded Mercy Health Saint Vincent Medical Center $145,000 to create human trafficking prevention programs for at-risk youth.

The Mercy Health Toledo Trauma Recovery Center (TRC), located inside of the Saint Vincent Medical Center, is joining forces with the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office. Their goal is to expand human trafficking prevention in the city with education, training and intervention services.

“We’re big believers here with our particular agency that we can’t do this alone. There is a lot of victimization out there, there is a lot of trauma, a lot of crime. So, it’s been a really nice partnership so far,” said TRC Supervisor Oralee Macklenar.

Macklenar says after speaking with law enforcement on the topic, it’s hard to come up with exact numbers on whether we are seeing more human trafficking in Toledo, but they are seeing a correlation with domestic violence.

Since TRC started serving the community in 2018, they have seen domestic violence cases continue to climb, and minors who grow up in violent situations, also known as “at-risk” individuals, are more likely to turn to the internet for companionship. Many times, they’re unaware of the risks involved.

“Because of that, we know that the at-risk population is only increasing,” said Macklenar.

TRC and the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office hope to offer services to schools and get into areas where kids ages 11 to 17 can be targeted.

$145,000 may not seem like a lot of money, and the staff with the Toledo trauma center says, in the long-run, it’s not, but it is enough to kick-start the human trafficking initiative over the next two years.

For more information on TRC you can go to their website.

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