Human trafficking victims to have private living quarters at Zelma George shelter; KeyBank commits $1 million

The Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland soon will provide shelter exclusively for adult female human trafficking victims, making it among the first in the region to do so, it was announced Monday.

Trafficking victims will live at the Salvation Army's Zelma George Emergency Family Shelter in downtown Cleveland, separately from the homeless families which reside there, said Major Lurlene-Kay M. Johnson, divisional secretary of the Salvation Army Greater Cleveland Area Services.

The shelter offers 110 beds for families in 35 individual family living quads. Currently the trafficking victims live among those families but that soon will change.

The announcement was made jointly by the Salvation Army, the Collaborative to End Human Trafficking and KeyBank Foundation. Keybank has committed $1 million to the Salvation Army to pay for new living arrangements for trafficking victims and other services.

"This is important because (trafficking victims) have very different needs (than other shelter residents)," said Johnson. "We really need to do what we can to make them feel secure."

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