Joined by survivors, including our own Arien Garcia, as well as Fresno’s mayor and police chief, Assemblymember Jim Patterson announced the passage of a bill that would allow human trafficking survivors to have their records cleared of non-violent crimes within a reasonable amount of time after escaping the life.

At the Justice Coalition, we sincerely believe that legislation like CA Assembly Bill 262 represents a step in the right direction for survivors of human trafficking who have been coerced into committing crimes by those who enslaved and exploited them. We are grateful that Governor Newsom signed this bill into law and are so proud to stand beside Arien Pauls Garcia as she tirelessly advocates for change. Not only does Arien use her voice publicly but she also privately has helped dozens of pre-victim adolescent clients this year alone through our youth prevention programming.

Read more about the process of getting AB 262 passed and signed into law:

KMJ story from Reporter Liz Kern

Fresno Bee article by Melissa Montalvo

thank-you-very-much-paint-designsWe are STOKED to announce our grand total. As of today, we have raised $10,317* towards the Freedom Fund!

(*Disclaimer, our staff is still checking on what may be additional donations. So the grand total may be a bit more! Also, did you know it’s actually #Giving Tuesday today? If you haven’t given, know we met our matching grant goal but have quite a lot of fund raising left to do for 2016. Get your donation in before the year ends by giving today or ANYTIME!)

With the matching funds, that amounts to $20,317 that will go directly to taking on human trafficking head on! We can’t thank you enough for your gifts, prayers and partnerships. When you invest in CVJC by giving financially, here’s just a short list of things that we see happen in very real ways:

  • God’s faithfulness and provision is celebrated! We step out in faith when we make these goals, and God keeps showing up!
  • Our leadership team and partners are encouraged and inspired, knowing we have people believing in us and this work enough to give precious resources towards preventing human trafficking helps to fuel our efforts year round!
  • Victims, survivors and advocates hear loud and clear that THE CHURCH AND COMMUNITY BELIEVE ALL SHOULD BE FREE.

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I found this image online last week as I was looking for something to show my gratitude to the hundreds of people who are participating in Freedom Sunday this month.  Though it may not be Fresno, I felt it accurately reflects the love we have for our city and the people in it.

Thank you for partnering with us.

 

In sharing with churches about Human Trafficking in Fresno, I’m drawn to the incident in Luke 7 where Jesus is anointed by the woman. It’s such a beautiful display of love for her savior after realizing how much debt had been paid… a proclamation of freedom and an act of true love! (Read it here.) To know your debt has been paid is the most freeing experience of all! Nothing can hold you back anymore! Think of a time when you were forgiven, when your life was spared, when grace overcame and all you could do was say “Thank You Jesus”…

 

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She poured out her most valuable possession and risked being criticized by those around her because she had the FREEDOM that only Christ can bring to LOVE him more than anything…

Jesus says,  “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.  Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” 

Oh to be the “sinful woman” at Jesus feet. To understand how much has been forgiven and how free I really am because of God’s great love for us… oh to have that repeated throughout our city streets and churches and brothels and night clubs in Fresno… in the hearts of men and women on the streets… among the trafficked and the saved…

 

May you know the freedom of forgiveness today and understand how much you are truly loved. 

–Kelly Mitchinson, CVJC Staff

On Tuesday, May 14, over 30 local pastors and spiritual leaders toured Fresno yesterday and saw first hand the intensity of human trafficking in our city.

The group was taken on a bus tour throughout Fresno, stopping at locations where human trafficking happens regularly. Fresno PD shared true stories of both the horrific realities of human trafficking and also the success stories of transformed lives. Back at People’s church, the group heard testimonies from one of our ministry partners, Christine Riley, who shared her story as a human trafficking survivor. Sgt. Curtis Chastain, head of the Fresno Police Department Human Trafficking Vice Unit, Jessica Pittman of Central Valley Justice Coalition, and Andrea Shabaglian of Made For Them were also among many who cast vision at this event.

The event was an incredible opportunity for the leaders to dive in and be more attentive to the need for their congregations to be involved in the fight against human trafficking and how they can partner with local organizations.  Jessica Pittman noted after the event, “God continues to remind us he is a God of justice and mercy! Thanks to all our partners who work around the clock to bring freedom to those who have been oppressed, and thanks to Christine for sharing her story and for partnering with our Coalition.”

KSEE 24 and CBS 47 covered well not only the event, but information on the reality of human trafficking in the Central Valley. The reports can be viewed at the links below:

Combatting Human Trafficking In the Central Valley” KSEE 24, 5/13/13

Valley Pastors Learn First Hand About Fresno’s Human Trafficking Problems” CBS 47, 5/3/13


This event was presented by Made for Them and Fresno Police Department, and we hope to have information soon about the next tour. Sign up for our e-newsletter so you will be notified about upcoming opportunities!

Welcome to The Central Valley Justice Coalition website! Thank you for visiting.
The mission of CVJC is to empower the church and community to bring holistic and lasting change in the lives of those impacted by human trafficking.

Currently, the leadership of CVJCis in the midst of a season of prayer and evaluation of our organization and community. We are partnering with others in efforts to end modern day slavery  and are doing limited work directly with survivors of human trafficking in the Valley during this time.

We encourage you to connect with our partners, who are also hard at work in outreach, survivors support, prevention, and other efforts. Please visit our info page titled Local Organizations for more information on each group. Also, see Local Opportunities to explore ways you can get involved locally.
We also welcome you to explore and use our online resources.

CVJC is providing limited resources, referrals and consultations during this time. Contact us at 559-725-1865 or email us at cvjusticecoalition@gmail.com

Thank you for your interest in ending human trafficking in the Central Valley, and may God bless, challenge, and equip you as you move forward.