ESTHER Ministry

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ESTHER
Ministry

End Slavery, Trafficking Humans & Effect Rescue

ESTHER MINISTRY of St. Joseph strives to understand the issues, causes and consequences of human trafficking in today’s world and to educate our parish and community about this modern slavery.

As a ministry, we take part   in efforts that promote education, awareness, prevention, justice and healing for the tragedy of human trafficking.

We offer our prayers for the protection of all vulnerable people through the intercession of our Patron, St. Josephine Bakhita, to Our Lord Jesus Christ.

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SIGNS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING

  • Physical/mental abuse: cuts, bruises, fear, overly submissive behavior
  • Workplace abuse: not being paid, no time off,   no control over services provided
  • Being controlled: no eye-contact, unable to speak for self, ID taken away, threats

EVENTS

BECOME A SHEPHERD
In November 2016, ESTHER held a community event called Become a Shepherd with LA County Sheriff Jim McDonnell as our keynote speaker. Victim Assistant Specialist Rohida Khan from Homeland Security spoke about our collaboration and assistance.  Members of the Long Beach Human Trafficking Task Force, including Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Human Trafficking (CAST), Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Long Beach Community College Foster Care and GEMS Uncovered, had resource tables.  Over 100 people attended and guests assembled hygiene kits for Humanitarian Bags.

 

HUMANITARIAN BAGS
Each year ESTHER makes over 100 Humanitarian Bags consisting of basic necessities for the first few hours a survivor comes into contact with one of our agency partners.  These backpacks, filled with hygiene products, clothing, socks, flip flops and comfort items like blankets, books and stuffed animals, were given to survivors through the Long Beach Police Department, the District Attorney’s Office, Homeland Security, CAST, Saving Innocence, Aviva Family and Children’s Services, GEMS Uncovered and Dream Center. Members of St. Joseph Parish and St. Bartholomew Parish help with this effort by donating goods, services and money. ESTHER also receives support from CRS through a Rice Bowl grant.

 

TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH
In April 2017, the Long Beach Human Trafficking Task Force partnered with the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach to raise awareness of human trafficking. The Task Force had a resource table and Barbie Box, dramatizing that children are not for sale, next to the Long Beach Police Department to reinforce their joint effort in this fight.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

2016

  • May
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IMPORTANT CONTACTS

  1. For immediate law enforcement when you observe Human Trafficking: Call 911
  2. Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST): 1 888 539-2373 / www.cast.org
  3. National Human Trafficking Resource Center: 1 888 373-7888 / (free text 233733) / www.polarisproject.org
  4. St. Joseph Church | ESTHER Ministry | estherministry1@gmail.com
Youth Exploitation and Safety Symposium:
The 2nd Annual Youth Exploitation and Safety Symposium took place on February 20, 2016 at Long Beach City College Carson Campus.  The YESS event is becoming increasingly respected by those in the fight against human trafficking and supported locally by dozens of agencies and organizations as well as private groups and committed individuals. St. Joseph’s crew was recognized as being, “exemplary in their organization of the volunteers and keeping everyone motivated and working.  We heard so many compliments this year on the help given by volunteers.”  Here is a link to the Long Beach Human Trafficking Task Force’s summary and video of the day:

 

RECongress Sacred Space:
Our Ministry was part of the collaboration responsible for the “Garden of Dreams-A Via Crucis on Human Trafficking” at the Los Angeles Archdiocese Regional Congress. Participants were invited to stand in prayerful solidarity with the victims of human trafficking as they prayed the Stations of the Cross. Members of our Ministry also volunteered at Sacred Space and provided information about human trafficking.  Here is a download of the prayer reflection: