About Hearts For Freedom

Heartland Girls’ Ranch has always served sexually exploited girls, but began the work of identifying and providing specific programming for exploited and trafficked girls in 2003. Since then, leadership and staff have increased their knowledge and skills in working with this population, and have accepted a leadership role in Minnesota’s efforts to combat the sexual exploitation of minors. In 2011, HGR developed the Hearts for Freedom Program (HFF) to better serve trafficked girls residing at HGR. This program is part of a larger strategy, the Hearts for Freedom Project, designed to address the sexual exploitation of youth throughout the West Central Minnesota region.

The Hearts For Freedom Approach

The Heartland Girls Ranch Hearts for Freedom Project is a three-pronged approach to increasing programs and services for sexually exploited youth:

The Hearts for Freedom Network

A system of coordinated care for sexually exploited youth in the West Central MN region. This includes an accompanying website that provide resources and services for those addressing sex trafficking in the region.

The Hearts for Freedom Program for Sexually Exploited Girls  

An enhancement and expansion of HGR current programs, services and housing for sexually exploited girls.


Hearts for Freedom Project Resource Guide 

The guide is a summary of Heartland’s program model based on best-practices and designed to serve as a resource guide for both existing and new organizations to better serve sexually exploited youth in a healthy, trauma-informed and culturally specific manner.


HGR witnessed an increase of victims of sexual exploitation/trafficking referred to their programs in recent years and became aware of the incredible lack of available beds and appropriate services to ensure that exploited girls get the help that they need to move past their victimization to become empowered and healthy young women as they grow into adulthood.

The vision for the Hearts for Freedom Guide Project was born in 2011, when Heartland Girls’ Ranch was awarded a grant from the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, MN Girls Are Not For Sale Campaign. This grant allowed time to begin the strategic planning phase of the project with the purpose of developing a service provider guide to assist organizations to increase their knowledge on the sexual exploitation/trafficking of girls, as well as increase their capacity to serve survivors of exploitation and trafficking. HGR believes that organizations will benefit from its expertise and experience in providing services and programs for sexually exploited youth.

HGR has developed a guide, designed for the purpose of increasing Minnesota’s capacity to serve sexually exploited youth, as part of MN Girls Are Not for Sale Campaign grant project. Click here to view information on the guide.