The KeyBank Foundation announced Monday that it has committed $1 million to The Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland to fight homelessness and enhance services for human trafficking victims.
The grant will support the Zelma George Emergency Family Shelter in downtown Cleveland, making the shelter among the first in the region to provide accommodations exclusively for adult human trafficking victims.
"We are extremely proud to support such a worthwhile project," said Margot James Copeland, executive vice president and chair of the KeyBank Foundation. "Ms. Zelma George, the shelter's namesake, spent most of her life working to improve Cleveland communities. She was a philanthropist, an activist and a true inspiration to us all. Her life calling was to improve the world in which we live and through this contribution we hope to honor her mission."
According to the Collaborative Initiative to End Human Trafficking, victims need stable shelter in order to begin to address their complex needs.
Through the KeyBank grant, the shelter will provide private, apartment-style housing for those who are victims of human trafficking.
Accommodations will include access to The Salvation Army's other programs and services to provide a multifaceted support system.
"The crime of human trafficking requires a victim-centered, multi-disciplinary response from the community," said Karen Walsh, director of the Collaborative to End Human Trafficking. "Through this project, The Salvation Army is addressing a significant need in the Cleveland area – that of safe and secure housing for women who have been trafficked."
In addition to aiding trafficking victims, KeyBank's $1 million commitment will enhance the resources available to all shelter residents such as classrooms for education programs, computer classes in the computer lab, recreation programs for children in an outdoor play area, and ongoing support groups in the community rooms.
"KeyBank's support will ensure that The Salvation Army meets the needs of our most vulnerable citizens in times of crisis," said Major Lurlene-Kay M.
Johnson, Divisional Secretary for Greater Cleveland Services. "This is an incredible signal of support for the Army's programs and services. We are grateful to KeyBank for their ongoing leadership in the community and their vision to build a Greater Cleveland for all of our neighbors."
The Zelma George Emergency Family Shelter offers 110 beds for families, structured in 35 individual family living units for enhanced privacy. The Salvation Army provides case management and housing specialist services, along with a series of programs to meet each family's unique needs.
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