In October of 2020, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office was awarded a $2 million grant by the United States Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime to fund a collaborative project through the DA’s Office’s Human Exploitation and Trafficking (H.E.A.T.) Watch program.
The award by OVC as part of their Services for Minor Victims of Sex Trafficking grant program was one of only four awarded in the country. The Alameda County DA’s office will partner with 20 agencies to expand and strengthen assistance programs for sexually exploited minors, with objectives of achieving increased safety, self-sufficiency, well-being, and independence.
The funding will connect minors with emergency services within the first 24 hours of engagement, provide them with long-term residential care, and provide ongoing coordinated case management and other needed services. Additionally, the DA’s Office will focus on preventing the sexual exploitation of minors through training, outreach, education, and treatment of purchasers.
H.E.A.T. Watch is a nationally recognized, award-winning program created to combat human trafficking on a collaborative, multi-disciplinary, and regional basis. This program seeks to prevent and combat human trafficking in all of its forms with a five-point strategy designed to support victims and those at-risk; engage community members and raise awareness; train law enforcement and other first responders; prosecute traffickers and purchasers, and change legislative policy and identify best practices.