Supports for Human Trafficking Survivors

Request for Proposals

Human trafficking is a complex global and social problem and a crime that involves the exploitation of humans for monetary gain or personal benefit for the traffickers and buyers (U.S. Department of State, 2020.)

During the spring of 2020, Metro United Way was presented with the unique opportunity to partner with United Way Worldwide (UWW) and UPS to serve as one of four local United Ways (LUWs) engaged in a new effort, United Against Human Trafficking. The purpose of this two-year project is to pilot community-based anti-trafficking interventions at a local level. The ultimate goal is to identify promising practices and impactful strategies that can be scaled, shared and/or replicated in other communities across the country.

During the first year of this project, Metro United Way focused on conducting a comprehensive landscape analysis of the current state of human trafficking and anti-trafficking efforts in our local community. This final report was released in 2021 and focused on four areas: 1) Education, Awareness and Training, 2) Survivor Needs and Services, 3) Children and Young Adults, and 4) Collaboration and Coordination within the Community. The ultimate goal of the research was to identify specific needs and gaps in services related to prevention, awareness, and survivor supports and services. To those ends, the report gleans several important insights including:

  • Children and young adults are vulnerable to trafficking in our community and need more comprehensive services and interventions.
  • Funding for prevention and direct services at multiple levels is often fragmented and sometimes absent.
  • Community strengths to leverage trauma-informed care is an integral part of existing services in some areas and offers opportunities for broader expansion.
  • A gap in availability of safe and affordable housing for human trafficking survivors is particularly prevalent in the existing network of social services.

To respond to these and other findings in the report, Metro United Way is releasing an open Request for Proposals (RFP) focused on effective programs and services that meet human trafficking survivors’ greatest needs. Responding organizations should be non-profit partners based in Metro United Way’s seven-county region of Jefferson, Shelby, Oldham and Bullitt Counties in Kentucky and Clark, Floyd and Harrison Counties in Indiana.

Leaning on data collected in the landscape analysis, we have learned that some of the greatest needs that local human trafficking survivors face, and this RFP seeks to address, include:

  • Access to low-barrier housing
  • Unrestricted cash assistance to meet basic needs
  • Mental health treatment
  • Access to counseling/support groups
  • Other forms of crisis intervention

Additionally, this RFP also seeks to support:

  • Innovative public health responses to meeting survivor needs
  • Increased access to screenings for survivors of human trafficking
  • Education and training to organizations that serve human trafficking survivors that is focused on identification of survivors and implementing trauma-informed care

It is our hope that this landscape analysis shines a light on an important issue that plagues communities across the country and across the world, and ignites greater conversation about the underlying conditions and root causes of human trafficking in our own backyard. Metro United Way hopes to use our assets – voice, brand and expansive network of community partners – to draw greater attention and resources to the individuals and organizations working every day to prevent human trafficking in Louisville.

This application will be open Monday, April 25 – Friday, May 13, 2022.  Available funding will be distributed to organizations whose work most closely aligns with the stated goals.  This is a 6-month grant and applications should be for services to be performed June-November 2022.  Organizations receiving grant funds must sign a grant agreement and agree to provide a brief final report to Metro United Way within 15 days of the end of the grant period.

A data-driven formula is being used to rank the proposals that most closely align with the stated goals. That data includes:

  • Number of human trafficking survivors impacted
  • Location of services and clients served
  • Demographics of clients served, with emphasis placed on youth/young adults, BIPOC and LGBTQ+ populations
  • Type of survivor services provided
  • Participation on the United Community platform

Eligibility Criteria

  • The Internal Revenue Service has ruled the applicant to be a federally recognized tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization or the organization has an application in process and a fiduciary agent.
  • The applicant is seeking funds for programs, services, or strategies focused on meeting the most pressing needs of human trafficking survivors in Jefferson, Shelby, Oldham and Bullitt Counties in Kentucky and Clark, Floyd and Harrison Counties in Indiana.
  • The applicant must be able to comply with MUW’s Grant Agreement.
  • Organizations may only submit one application per agency for this particular Metro United Way funding opportunity. Applicants may include a cumulative funding request for more than one program/service provided by their agency in their single application.



Sign up and find out about everything we’re doing for people in the community. Or how you can help us make a difference.