Voices for Florida was awarded a $1.5M appropriation by the Florida Legislature and approved by the Governor to support the Open Doors Outreach Network for the 2021-2022 fiscal year. This award recognizes Florida’s pervasive human trafficking problem and the necessity for additional trauma-competent and informed victim services. This award will draw down several million dollars in federal VOCA dollars.
This funding will expand services to 32 counties, increase staffing of Open Doors Outreach Teams, and help cover costs of victims’ basic needs such as food and clothing upon referral. It is anticipated the additional funding will result in 1,600 victims being served over the initial five years of operations.
Voices expresses deep appreciation to the 2021-2022 Open Doors Legislative Sponsors Rep. Cord Byrd (Jacksonville) and Sen. Jeff Brandes (St. Petersburg), Criminal Justice Subcommittee Chairs Sen. Keith Perry (Gainesville) and Rep. Scott Plakon (Longwood), Appropriations Committee Chairs Sen. Kelli Stargel (Lakeland) and Rep. Jay Trumbull (Panama City), along with the Sen. President Wilton Simpson (Trilby) and House Speaker Chris Sprowls (Clearwater). All were instrumental in meeting this critical need as well as the support received from the entire Florida Legislature. This was made possible as well by the on-going commitment of Attorney General Ashley Moody and her team.