In 2011, Minnesota became the fifth state in the nation to pass Safe Harbor legislation, decriminalizing prostitution for youth under the age of 18. This ensures that Minnesota youth who are survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking are viewed as victims and survivors, not criminals. It has also allowed for these youth to be treated with dignity and respect as they are directed to supportive services that meet their needs and recognize their right to make choices.
Safe Harbor work occurs within the MN Department of Health, allowing a public health approach to the sexual exploitation of children and youth. In 2014 Minnesota began implementing a service model for Safe Harbor called "No Wrong Door" – making available resources and services for sexually exploited youth including regional navigators, housing and shelter, comprehensive services, and training and protocol development. Safe Harbor services throughout the state are available to individuals 24 and younger.
At North Homes Children and Family Services, there are a number of initiatives to support Safe Harbor, including education and programming at the community level to help foster change.