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January 17, 2018 06:08 PM

Call To Freedom Receives 50k Grant

You might not see it, but human trafficking is happening in KELOLAND. That's why several groups are making it their mission to fight it. The Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation has given Call to Freedom $50,000, a grant that's about pushing back against human trafficking.

"Those that we have served, it's been amazing to watch them evolve into a new identity," Becky Rasmussen, executive director for Call to Freedom, said. "And if we weren't here, I'm not sure who would be helping, specializing in offering services for human trafficking." 

Rasmussen's organization isn't alone in the fight. 

"We were excited to make a grant to Call to Freedom to help build this task force in our community to look at human trafficking," Andy Patterson, president of the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation, said.

"What this is going to allow us to do is to strengthen those partnerships within communities, from youth systems to law enforcement to assistant U.S. Attorney's Office, but really going across the state and finding everyone who is coming in contact with human trafficking victims," Rasmussen said. 

It's the first step in helping victims and changing lives right here in South Dakota. 

"It seems like a problem for somewhere else, and through the work of Call to Freedom, the awareness has grown that yeah, this is an issue right here, and as a community, we need to have a response to it now," Patterson said.

"The more that we can keep it in front of our community, that it is happening, empowering them to know how to identify it, we are going to make a dent," Rasmussen said. 

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