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FITCHBURG — The Central Massachusetts Outreach Network, of consisting LUK, Inc., Living in Freedom Together and Our Father’s House will work together in an effort to provide prevention and intervention services for runaway, homeless and street youth in Worcester County, according to a press release.

This program seeks to provide services for youth who are less than 21-years-old and have been subjected to or are at risk of being subjected to sexual abuse, prostitution, sexual exploitation or severe forms of trafficking in persons.

LIFT has expertise in, and provides outreach and services for, sex trafficking survivors, and OFH is an experienced street outreach provider.

“The C’MON Street Outreach Program hopes to connect with 650 young people per year (1,950 over the three years of the project). Additionally, staff will also facilitate runaway and trafficking awareness and prevention presentations for 150 youth and providers each year,” said Maurie Bergeron, LUK’s Director of Transition to Independent Living Services.

The services provided will include prevention, outreach, provision of gateway services, screening and assessment, harm reduction, access to emergency shelter, crisis stabilization, service linkages, and follow-up.

Services are provided in a context of positive youth development, trauma-informed care, evidence-informed practices, and social support and relationship capacity building.

“OFH has outreach workers on the streets of North Central Mass seven days a week and has established solid relationships with those providing services to homeless of all ages, including LUK. We look forward to our continued partnership with LUK while addressing the ever-present, but often hidden, youth homelessness issues,” said Kevin MacLean, Director of Homeless Services for OFH

LIFT CEO Nicole Bell added: “LIFT is looking forward to strengthening our partnerships to ensure that prevention, intervention, and care are delivered to homeless, runaway, and street youth in Worcester County.  As we know these youth are extremely vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking and we hope to work together to ensure community partners have the bandwidth and expertise to serve this vulnerable and marginalized population of young people. We are thrilled to work with LUK and other partners to better meet the needs of these young people and ensure they receive the compassionate care and support they deserve.”

For more information about LUK, Inc., please visit www.LUK.org, call 800-579-0000, or follow LUK, Inc. on Facebook. Join us in building stronger communities, family by family.


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