Thursday, September 16, 2021

$10M in state funding designated for Ranch Hands Rescue

Texas Senator Jane Nelson

State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, announced Thursday that $10 million in funds from the General Appropriations Act will be distributed to a local nonprofit, Ranch Hands Rescue, and dedicated to supporting survivors of human trafficking.

“Every session we have an opportunity to truly help Texans, and this session, I wanted to make sure we directly impacted human trafficking survivors,” Nelson said. “I am honored to partner with Ranch Hands Rescue, which provides trauma-informed services to people and animals who have experienced abuse, located right here in Senate District 12.”

Ranch Hands Rescue is an Argyle-area nonprofit that has helped heal 579 animals and 1,710 men, women and children. It serves as a sanctuary for survivors, offering an array of mental health services, utilizing a unique approach called animal-assisted counseling, where people can find healing by connecting with animals that have been rehabilitated.

Bob’s House of Hope, photo courtesy of Ranch Hands Rescue

The $10 million funding allotment will directly support services provided through Ranch Hands Rescue’s new safe house for male survivors of sex trafficking, Bob’s House of Hope, according to a news release from Nelson’s office. Nearly half of child sex trafficking victims are male, but only four out of 25 shelters serve this population of survivors. Without a place to go, victims can be pulled back into a cycle of abuse. Bob’s House of Hope is the first long-term shelter in the nation to solely serve males who are recovering from sex trafficking.

“Bob’s House of Hope is a tremendous dream of mine that will help an underserved population of human trafficking survivors, men aged 18 and up. This funding will give life to that dream, and I am grateful for Senator Nelson’s work in securing it,” said Ranch Hands Rescue CEO Bob Williams. “Senators Nelson’s leadership and commitment to ending human trafficking will allow us to help and bring awareness to boys and young men who have been human trafficked. With this funding we can help even more innocent victims rebuild their lives.”

Nelson is a longtime advocate for human trafficking survivors and has worked to fund every agency request related to the issue, according to her office. During the 2021 Legislative Session, she ensured the state budget included $57.6 million to combat this criminal enterprise. The Legislature also passed nine bills on the issue, and in the 2019 Legislative Session, Nelson passed SB 72 creating the Statewide Human Trafficking Coordinating Council.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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