ROCHESTER, Minn. - A program that serves human trafficking victims in southeastern Minnesota is facing state funding cuts and it's raising concerns among Olmsted County Officials.
Community corrections director Travis Gransee possible state funding cuts to the12-county regional Safe Harbor program could be detrimental especially when it comes to the resources its able to provide sex trafficking victims.
"Anytime a cut like this happens it impacts our ability to continue to do not only to do innovative work but work
that really impacts the community and the survivor who we're really here to serve," said Gransee.
Gransee says Olmsted County received 343,000 this year but now is looking at maximum state funding of $290,000. He says the reason for the cuts seems to center around the creation of another region in the state to expand services.
He explained, "When you create another region and don't increase the funding it impacts those areas that are already providing that service."
If there was a new region the Safe Harbor program would lose a county it serves and would likely have to cut staff and resources. Gransee says the potential cuts feel like a punishment despite the program's positive work.
"It does feel a little bit like, despite all of the proactive efforts and the excellent work that's been done by our staff, that the
funding being decreased is going to impact the ability to have that amount of an impact on the community," he added.
The funding cuts have yet to be approved so Gransee says Olmsted County is still holding out hope that the Safe Harbor program funding will be restored.