Senate-passed legislation includes Heck bill to provide resources to runaway, homeless youth
(Greg Lemon) – Washington — Congressman Joe Heck (NV-03) today released the following statement applauding Senate passage of S. 178, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015.
The Senate-passed bill included language originally introduced by Rep. Heck in the House as H.R. 468, the Enhancing Services for Runaway and Homeless Victims for Youth Trafficking Act of 2015, legislation that passed the House in January and provides increased support to runaway and homeless youth who are victims of human trafficking.
“We have a moral obligation to end trafficking and support its victims, especially those most vulnerable, runaway and homeless youth,” Rep. Heck said. “By providing additional criteria for victims’ advocacy organizations to qualify for grant funding, we can ensure that those most in need of support get the help they need and avoid becoming trafficking victims.”
The Enhancing Services for Runaway and Homeless Victims of Youth Trafficking Act:
- * Enables the Secretary of Health and Human Services to apply existing grant resources to train relevant staff on the effects of human trafficking in runaway and homeless youth victims, and for developing state-wide strategies to serve such youth.
- * Allows the secretary to utilize the Street Outreach Program to provide street-based services for runaway and homeless youth who are victims of trafficking.
The legislation was drafted as a response to feedback Rep. Heck received at an anti-human trafficking panel discussion in May 2014. The panel brought together local elected officials, law enforcement, and victims’ advocates. One area of agreement on the panel discussion was that more resources were needed for victims’ advocacy and support, especially for at-risk youth.
Upon House passage of H.R. 468 in January, Congressman Heck released a video about the bill and how it will help support Nevada children most at risk of becoming human trafficking victims.
Congressman Joe Heck represents Nevada’s Third Congressional District in the House of Representatives. He serves on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.