By Alex Emslie
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón joined representatives from three city organizations on Thursday in announcing a new collaboration to combat child sex and child labor trafficking.
The partnership launched an effort to put youth trafficking survivors in touch with help, through a 24-hour hotline staffed byLarkin Street Youth Services. That number is 1-800-669-6196.
Gascón said the hotline is a first step in addressing an under-reported problem.
“There are estimations as to the number of young people that are being exploited,” he said, “but the reality is nobody really knows. We just know that it’s a very, very large number. I personally believe that here in San Francisco, we have a tremendous problem that is just going under the surface and is not being addressed.”
As part of the partnership, the Youth Justice Institute will provide mental health services. Another nonprofit, the SAGE Project, will help youth transition out of trafficking, with caseworkers and life skills classes, and Larkin Street will provide shelter beds for trafficked youth.