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

It would be an understatement to say that the last 18 months have been a challenging time for us at the Justice Coalition. As the light dawned on 2021, we were presented with an opportunity to streamline our operations through converting two vacated part-time positions into a full-time associate director role. We conducted a thorough search and found the perfect candidate, Dan Carter, for the job.

Only trouble was, as she is a foreign national from Australia, we would need to get a work visa. What we thought would take 6 weeks wound up taking 22 instead but praise God, she has now finally been able to start! I can’t thank all you enough for your support, encouragement and prayers during these trying times.

As an education organization working with vulnerable populations, primarily through in-person presentations, trainings and gatherings, it’s been difficult (the last year plus) to measure our impact using the methods we spent years developing. Yet, even when we haven’t been able to see our efforts produce the numerical impact we desire, this time has been far from wasted.

Currently, we are doing the hard work to streamline our systems and increase our capacity because we know that our mission has never been more important than it is now! With Dan, Arien and myself we now have three full-time staff for the first time in our history and we are joined by Christa, Marissa and Jessica in part-time roles. As we move into the always busy fall season, requests for speakers and classes are skyrocketing. Like a cellphone plugged in overnight (or in this case for the last 8 months) we are charged up and ready to go!

freedom sunday

“It is for freedom that Christ set us free!” Gal 5:1

February 2, 2014  churches across the Central Valley are uniting to proclaim freedom for all who enslaved in modern day slavery.

Join in standing against human trafficking and other forms of slavery and FOR the freedom found in Christ Jesus! Sign up here to let us know you are participating. See our new Freedom Sunday page for more info and resources.

Feb 2nd is around the corner and we want to equip YOU with tools and resources for your congregation. Please join us for Freedom Freedom Sunday Training!

When: Tues, Jan 7th, 12 – 1pm (doors open until 1:30)

JUST ADDED! Monday, Jan 6, 7pm. This evening includes brief training, and a larger focus on worship and prayer for 2014 (in honor of Human Trafficking Awareness month).

Where: Fresno First Baptist Parlor (on southeast side of campus, close to Lansing Ave)

1400 E Saginaw Way

Fresno 93704

Click on the following link for a short video on Human Trafficking in Fresno: http://vimeo.com/66281458.

Don’t wait til after Christmas to bring this to the attention of your church leaders! 

CVJC and the Center For Community Transformation are partnering with the Fresno Police Department to develop a volunteer team to take hard copy files of Massage Parlor permits for owners and workers and digitize them so the data can be searched. This will free up a detective to do actual checks on massage parlors to be sure they are not fronts for labor or sex trafficking. They need volunteers to be available for two hours on Monday mornings. Times to be worked out with the volunteers.
If you are interested, please contact the FPU Center For Community Transformation at 559-453-2366.

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!