New Comprehensive Services include Mental Health Counseling through Directions for Living
St. Petersburg, FL –Gulfcoast Legal Services (GLS) recently received funding from the US Department of Justice (USDOJ) to continue serving victims of all types of human trafficking (i.e., sexual exploitation and labor) along the Tampa Bay/west central gulf coast region of Florida, which includes Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties.
According to The Polaris Project, “human trafficking occurs when a perpetrator, often referred to as a trafficker, employs the means of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of compelling the victim to provide commercial sex acts or labor or services.” Traffickers can be anyone, and trafficking can occur in nearly every industry.
The GLS project team is highly qualified to recognize signs of human trafficking, and regularly trains partner organizations to help them better assist survivors of trauma. The organization has been providing specialized legal services to human trafficking victims since 2006 and was an original member agency of the Clearwater/Tampa Bay Area Taskforce on Human Trafficking.
With USDOJ funding, GLS will continue to deliver free, trauma-informed legal services to survivors of human trafficking, as well as specialized mental health services through a new partnership with Directions for Living (DFL). DFL will provide private counseling to support clients’ long-term healing from physical, social, and emotional impacts of trauma.
“GLS is delighted to partner with DFL to provide holistic services for survivors to help them fully heal from the trauma of human trafficking,” said Tammy Greer, Chief Executive Officer for Gulfcoast Legal Services.
For more information, or to see if you are eligible for services, visit the GLS website at www.gulfcoastlegal.org.