Steuart Pittman. Photo courtesy AA County Gov’t.

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman announced a $500,000 grant to the YWCA, which the organization will use to help build a residential facility specific to youth (age 13-18) who have been victims of sex trafficking. The 7,200-square-foot facility will have eight bedrooms.

The funding for the grant came through county general funds. The project also received $1.35 million from the State Sen. Pam Beidle (D-32) and Sen. Sarah Elfreth (D-30).

The new facility will be the only dedicated safe house in the state for minors who are victims of human trafficking. It will feature a 24-hour call center, case managers, residential advisers, counseling, and educational opportunities to provide children everything that they need onsite.

The project reflects the YWCA’s goals and mission of empowering women and assisting them in achieving their self-identified goals while moving to a life away from their abuser, and will help alleviate poverty by providing shelter and education while assisting with healing. The program also assists clients with financial management, obtaining a job and locating housing as a bridge to independent living.