2018-06-13 / Front Page

Hevesi’s ‘Culturally Competent’ Shelters For Trafficking Survivors Bill Passes Unanimously

Assembly Member Andrew Hevesi (AD 28) released the following statement with regards to Assembly bill A.9655, which passed on June 5 in the Assembly with 141 votes in favor and 0 votes against, with 9 Assembly members in absentia. This bill, authored and introduced by Hevesi, aims to protect survivors of human trafficking in New York by establishing “culturally competent” short-term and long-term safe house residential facilities that will provide necessary resources and services for these individuals and their families.

Placement in such a facility will be available to human trafficking survivors at their initial point of contact with an authorized entity, including law enforcement, a local social services district, or social or legal services provider. The short-term safe houses will be operated by local not-for-profit agencies, and will specialize in providing emergency services, which include food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and crisis intervention amongst others. Once a survivor transfers to a long-term facility, they will receive support services aimed at helping them transition back into the community.

The services offered in both short- and long-term facilities shall be culturally competent to the extent practicable, and will extend to helping survivors with case management, health care, mental health counseling, drug addiction screening and treatment, language interpretation and translation services, English language instruction, job training and placement assistance, post-employment services for job retention, and services to assist the victim and their family members establish permanent residency.

Assembly Member Hevesi said: “The most essential need of survivors of human trafficking is a safe place to stay. This bill will require New York State to create multiple appropriate safe houses with services. I want to thank all of my colleagues in the Assembly, both Republicans and Democrats, for voting in favor of this bill. I also want to thank Senator Martin Golden for carrying the companion bill that is making its way through the Senate.”

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