Grow Free Tennessee to get major funding boost from state

Grow Free Tn. supports men, women, and children being trafficked
Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 11:38 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Grow Free Tennessee is set to get a $300,000 boost in funding from the state of Tennessee.

Grow Free TN works with men, women, and children who are being trafficked.

“Grow Free Tennessee is incredibly honored by the support from Governor Lee and the General Assembly. As the designated human trafficking victim service agency for East Tennessee, Grow Free TN receives referrals from state programs like the Department of Children’s Services and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and we are especially grateful to be recognized and rewarded for our long-standing partnership with the state of Tennessee. This appropriation will help our agency continue to provide emergency and transitional housing, intensive, community case management, and therapeutic services for victims of human trafficking in East Tennessee,” said Executive Director Natalie Ivey.

The state appropriation amounts to nearly one-quarter of the groups operating budget.

”For us to be able to guarantee for the next year, for the next five years, for the next ten years we will be here to walk alongside those victims we’ll be here to provide the support and care they’ll need and we’re in it for the long haul is really kind of the trauma response that we want to have and were in this line of work to do it well and we can’t do it well if we can’t guarantee we will be here for a while,” added Ivey.

This funding will continue to help Grow Free in its mission, one that Ivey says is bursting with business.

If you or someone you know is being trafficked, Grow Free Tennessee has a free text line, you can text ‘HELP’ to 233733

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