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Orange County seeks help for human trafficking victims

Crisis center to have $850K budget

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(iStock / zimmytws)

ORLANDO, Fla. – A Central Florida county plans to launch a pilot program for people who've been forced into the illegal sex trade.

Orange County Commissioner Pete Clarke says it will be the first crisis shelter in Florida that's exclusively designated for human trafficking victims. Commissioners will consider the plan during a Tuesday meeting.

The Orlando Sentinel reports the commission's agenda estimates a budget of $850,000 for the program.

The center would have 10 beds available to adults for up to 90 days.

Last year, the Orlando-area Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation fielded 127 tips about human trafficking cases in Central Florida. So far this year they've identified 16 juveniles as trafficking victims. That includes a 14-year-old girl whose drug overdose in August led authorities to a human trafficking ring.