Amerigroup Georgia and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Georgia Announce Partnership with Wellspring Living to Address Human Trafficking

Friday, January 29th, 2021

As Human Trafficking Awareness Month comes to a close, Amerigroup Georgia (Amerigroup) and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in Georgia (Anthem) are proud to announce that they are collectively contributing $400,000 to Wellspring Living in support of efforts to combat human trafficking in Georgia. Together, Wellspring, Amerigroup and Anthem will work to identify initiatives and programs that will help victims of human trafficking and at-risk individuals, with a special focus on housing insecurity, mental health services, life skills and personal development.

“As a company committed to materially and measurably improving the lives of fellow Georgians, we understand the incredibly important role that we play in helping vulnerable populations, including young children in the foster care program,” said Mel Lindsey, Amerigroup Georgia Medicaid Plan President. “Through this collaborative effort with Wellspring, we will be taking the necessary steps to help ensure the safety and well-being of those individuals who have experienced or are at increased risk of human trafficking.”

For victims of human trafficking, one of the most immediate needs they often face is finding a safe place to live. While some affordable housing programs exist, they may have long wait lists or include restrictions such as income or rental history, which can serve as roadblocks for many human trafficking victims. However, these basic needs are essential in helping people recover.

“Wellspring Living is overwhelmed with gratitude by the generous support of Amerigroup and Anthem,” said Mary Frances Bowley, Executive Director at Wellspring Living. “This collaborative effort will strengthen Georgia's response to trafficking and provide pathways to freedom for countless women and youth who have been victims of this heinous crime.”

Human trafficking can include both forced labor and sex trafficking and denies millions of people their basic human right of freedom. According to some estimates, as many as 24.9 million people — adults and children — are trapped in a form of human trafficking around the world.

“As the largest insurer in Georgia, Anthem has the honor and responsibility of serving some of the State’s most vulnerable populations,” said Pam Stahl, President of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Georgia. “For those at a greater risk of being trafficked, it is critical that resources be in place to help them thrive. Through this pivotal collaboration with Wellspring, Anthem and Amerigroup will support community based resources, services and programs specifically designed to help those at risk with basic services such as finding housing, having access to medical care or assistance securing employment.”

Using the GRACE Commission’s work as a resource, over the coming weeks and months, Wellspring will work in partnership with Amerigroup and Anthem to identify priority areas of strategic investment that can help those individuals at risk of human trafficking.

“Brian, the girls, and I want to thank Amerigroup Community Care of Georgia and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Georgia for joining the fight to end human trafficking,” said Marty Kemp, First Lady of Georgia. “Their partnership with Wellspring Living will be critical as we continue working to ensure that all survivors have pathways to brighter, more hopeful futures out of the shadows.”

To kick off this collaborative effort, the First Lady and Governor Kemp attended a press conference with Wellspring, Amerigroup and Anthem at a Wellspring facility.