Labor and Economic Opportunity
State Land Bank Authority partners with Pontiac’s Hope Against Trafficking
Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019
Contact: Gabby Abel
LANSING, Mich. – The State Land Bank announced Wednesday the purchase and transfer of a building to Pontiac-based non-profit Hope Against Trafficking, allowing the organization to move forward with plans to expand and build upon their mission of helping human trafficking victims.
This is the second time the State Land Bank has worked with the organization. Hope Against Trafficking purchased a Land Bank parcel in Pontiac to create a community garden in February 2018.
“I’m happy we are able to transfer this property to Hope Against Trafficking. The work this organization does is admirable, and our team is proud to be working with them again to continue bettering the Pontiac community,” State Land Bank Interim Director Jeff Huntington said.
Hope Against Trafficking is a non-profit organization which provides resources and support to human trafficking victims. This program provides women with housing, financial and job training support over the course of a two-year period.
Robert Gosselin, president of Hope Against Trafficking, has been working on securing this building for over a year. Gosselin attempted to purchase the building when it was privately owned, but when the building was taken back by the county, he knew the State Land Bank was the next option to help.
“We are so grateful for the help we have received from the State Land Bank. Their ability to secure this building, and now transfer it to our organization, will allow us to move our staff into one centralized building, giving us the ability to open more rooms for victims in need,” Gosselin said.
Currently, the organization has its office space in one of its residential apartments. Once the remodel is complete, they will be able to move their staff out of the apartment and make room for four more women in need.
This building came into possession of the State Land Bank via first right of refusal from the Oakland County treasurer’s office. The Land Bank then entered into a purchase agreement with Hope Against Trafficking, and the transfer completes the process.
“I am proud to partner with the State Land Bank Authority to help return this tax foreclosed property to the very productive and critical use of building hope for survivors of human trafficking,” Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner said.
To learn more about the State Land Bank’s efforts to improve communities across the state, visit Michigan.gov/LandBank.