The program was created in March 2007 when Catholic Charities obtained a per-capita contract with USCCB to provide services to survivors of human trafficking. Around the same time, we initiated and helped to create the Louisville Human Trafficking Task Force that consisted of immigration lawyers, LMPD detectives and FBI agents, and representatives of various social-service providers in Louisville. At that time, Catholic Charities was the only service provider to this population in the state.
In 2007, Catholic Charities applied for a three-year cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to create the Kentucky Rescue and Restore Victims of Human Trafficking Program with five sub-recipients in Covington, Lexington, Paducah, Somerset and Bowling Green. The agreement was received in April 2008, and Marissa Castellanos, director of the Human Trafficking program, was hired to manage the program. The goal of the program was to raise awareness of the problem of human trafficking, create new task forces, and to provide services to survivors. The program set the foundation of the anti-human trafficking movement in Kentucky.