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Advocating for a Safer Minnesota with Investments in Trafficking Response and Prevention

Alongside our partners, including the Link, we are supporting increased investments at the Capitol for survivors of trafficking and youth experiencing homelessness as a key component of our investment in safety. Because sexual violence begins early and has lifelong consequences, we hold a responsibility to protect and support youth and our most vulnerable Minnesotans. By providing safe, accessible, and culturally responsive housing, healing, and supportive environments, we can prevent violence and treat survivors and all people with the healing and justice they deserve.

At the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, investing in a state where women, girls, and gender-expansive people are free from violence is a cornerstone of all we do. We helped ensure that the Safe Harbor Law passed in July 2011, and have worked alongside front-line advocates and survivors to change laws, create a state-funded infrastructure, and drive a sea change in how Minnesota responds to sex trafficking across our state.

For all that has changed, trafficking, exploitation, and gender-based violence continues across our state, disproportionately affecting Black, Indigenous, Latina, and LGBTQ+ people. Stable, accessible housing is critical for survivors and anyone experiencing or vulnerable to sexual violence, including youth and LGBTQ+ people, to ensure safety and healing.

We have made progress in the last 10 years, but we know that more resources are needed to serve survivors and protect our most vulnerable youth.

Our policy agenda supports:
Expanded Safe Harbor Funding (SF1839 & HF1858)
To provide a $20 million increase per year for Safe Harbor, with $2 million going to Regional Navigators, $9 million for Safe Harbor Supportive Services, and $9 million for street outreach, emergency shelter, and housing.

Homeless Youth Act (SF388 & HF444):
Seeking $50 million per year to the base of the HYA, which funds the continuum of youth services-street outreach, drop-in center, homeless prevention, host homes, emergency shelter and all models of housing.

The Link, along with young people, survivors, and partners in the field, advocate at the Capitol every year to ensure continued funding for Safe Harbor, support the Homeless Youth Act, and advocate for juvenile justice reform. Because demand for services and support continues to grow while housing, safety, and security have been in jeopardy.

Women, girls, and youth with unstable housing, who run away and are involved in the foster care system, juvenile detention and are experiencing sexual abuse become especially at risk for exploitation. Our 2022 Status of Women & Girls in Minnesota shows that LGBTQ+ youth are overrepresented among unhoused people, and 42% of homeless women experienced sexual abuse as a child, conditions which make them more vulnerable to trafficking. If young people can access safe and stable housing anywhere in our state, they won’t be vulnerable to traffickers or see trading sex as a means for survival.

Advocate with Us
Follow our partners in the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless and the Youth Services Network and contact your legislators and share the importance of these bills with your networks.

If you are being hurt or abused
Minnesota’s Day One Crisis Hotline 1-866-223-1111 or Safe Harbor Regional Navigator Line 612-232-5428 assist you to get help, get safe and get support. Advocates trained in supporting victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking can help you find a shelter and services in your area.

Youth, families, and service providers can find assistance and resources at

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