Portland agency gets grant to help human trafficking victims

An agency in Portland that assists the homeless and those with low incomes has received a $400,000 federal grant to support a coalition that will provide services to victims of human trafficking in southern Maine.

Preble Street Executive Director Mark Swann says sex trafficking and exploitation, along with labor trafficking, are growing problems in York and Cumberland Counties.

“We are witnessing organized, coerced and forced sexual exploitation, assault and violence, often happening through the anonymity of the internet and news paper listings,” Swann said today at a Portland news conference.

The Anti-Trafficking Coalition, which includes both public and private agencies, is designed to provide outreach, case management, legal services, training, support and safe options to victims of both sex and labor trafficking.