Grant Awarded to Catholic Charities to Help Find Enslaved Immigrants

Janine Zeitlin at Fort Myers’ News-Press reported that a federal grant totaling $230,000 federal that is to be awarded to Catholic Charities of Lee County will help them ferret out more victims of slavery. The organization’s work in immigrant communities has been instrumental to date.

“They have so many case managers working directly with Haitian churches and indigenous communities,” said Nola Theiss, the executive director of Human Trafficking Awareness Partnerships. “We think if we focus our attention in that direction we will be finding that these victims exist as opposed to saying they’re not there.”

Christine Nolan, the director of Lee, Hendry and Glades counties for Catholic Charities, said the grant will likely begin around November and last 18 months. Along with identifying victims, the organization will provide any services they might need.

“Catholic Charities as a whole serves first- and second-generation immigrants,” Nolan said. “The majority of our staff are first-, second-generation immigrants themselves. We have a credibility and trust.”

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