PITTSFIELD, Mass. (NEWS10) – The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office (BDAO) purchased and assembled 50 Hope Bags for victims of human trafficking. On Friday, BDAO staff filled the backpacks with clothing, first aid kits, hygiene products, hand sanitizer, wipes, snacks, reusable water bottles, referrals for social services, and more.
The members of the Berkshire Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force will identify those who will benefit from the bags and coordinate their distribution throughout Berkshire County as needed.
“These bags tell victims that the community cares about them and is ready and able to help. This DSV Task Force project is particularly powerful because the victims do not need to be involved in the criminal justice system to receive help. This is street-level, immediate care to victims in a vulnerable place and truly meeting them where they are at,” District Attorney Andrea Harrington said.
The District Attorney’s Office previously won a $15,000 grant from the Massachusetts Office for Victims Assistance and used a portion of that to purchase the necessities and bags.
The grant from MOVA’s Human Trafficking Trust Fund provides direct service to victims of human trafficking by providing them the essentials to stabilize. The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office also uses funds from the grant to provide victims with temporary housing, transportation, and food assistance.