July 14, 2024 10:53 pm

Los Angeles Approves Comprehensive Plan to Combat Human Trafficking Among Homeless Youth

The City Council has given its approval to several recommendations aimed at bolstering efforts to combat human trafficking of homeless youth in Los Angeles. The approved measures include a plan for general training on resources and materials related to sex and labor trafficking for all city employees. Additionally, specialized training curricula will be developed for departments engaging with the public and city-funded homeless outreach teams.

During the meeting, Council members Heather Hutt, Curren Price, Hugo Soto-Martinez, and Nithya Raman were absent, and an 11-0 vote secured the approval of a Community Investment for Families Department report outlining ways to better support homeless youth. The Council has requested a report on the feasibility and cost of creating materials in 14 of the city’s most spoken languages for posting in city buildings and distribution to businesses.

As part of the recommendations, the CIFD will assess the feasibility and cost of expanding residential shelter, non-residential services, and implementing a financial education program for at-risk youth. A mobile case management model will be included to ensure youth receive necessary services and support, regardless of their location.

The city is exploring the establishment of a second Guaranteed Basic Income program tailored for homeless individuals, with a focus on survivors of domestic abuse and Transition Aged Youth (ages 15-26). This initiative addresses the findings of a 2016 study, which revealed that 19% of homeless and runaway youth accessing services nationwide were victims of human trafficking. In Los Angeles, 10% of homeless youth and 25% engaged in commercial sex were found to be involved in human trafficking.

The connection between homeless youth and the risk of trafficking is supported by data, emphasizing the vulnerability of individuals without support. The 2022 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count reported that 17% of transition-aged homeless youth in the city experienced human trafficking. The approved measures originated from a motion introduced by Council members Traci Park and Monica Rodriguez last year, seeking additional solutions to prevent human trafficking among homeless youth.