A number of local organizations, led by The University of Toledo Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute, have launched a prevention tool for at-risk youth in the area.Youth Pages Toledo is a program that provides resources on issues including substance abuse and teen pregnancy, with a special focus on the risk factors that make youth vulnerable to human trafficking. It includes a cell phone app, website, and a printed handbook in English and Spanish.
A press conference announcing TARTA’s partnership with Youth Pages Toledo to promote the resource was held July 8 at One Government Center. State Rep. Teresa Fedor and Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp spoke at the media event.
The UT Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute worked in partnership with United Way of Greater Toledo and the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition to create Youth Pages Toledo, which in addition to providing information on issues impacting area youth also directs them to nearby services, such as Lucas County Children’s Services or Mom’s House Toledo.
“Youth Pages Toledo puts the information directly into the hands of those who need it most — our youth,” said Ashley Wickerham-Cutcher, associate director of the UT Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute.
TARTA is working to promote Youth Pages Toledo with bus posters that advertise the program and encourage riders to download the free app, available for both Android and Apple devices.
The program was made possible by a grant from the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund, the Zonta Club of Toledo and the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition.
The UT Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute opened in April, and aims to respond to human trafficking and social justice issues through education, research and service.
For more information, visit youthpagestoledo.org.