Courage to Love

Courage to Love

United Against Human Trafficking proudly stands with our partners in Houston to establish justice for our clients – regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, religion, or ability. We are committed to cultivating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community and energized by growth in this movement to that end in recent years.

As a nonprofit leading coalition work in Houston, Texas and Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, we are on the front lines of uniting people around a shared mission. This mission is not defined by a singular perspective, but a communal vision to end human trafficking. As an independent agency doing direct client services, we also know that our focus must be what is in the best interests of the client.

In June, the Freedom Church Alliance published a communication which contrasted courage and compromise using language we felt undermined the spirit of our movement in Houston.

At UAHT, we believe compassion and love – meeting a client where they are, regardless of where they are – is always in the best interests of the client. We affirm people of all faiths joining in this work, but call on our partners to recognize that only a trauma-informed, survivor-centered approach will move the needle in a client’s life.

We believe agencies informed by a Christian-centered mission can recognize that this belief – meeting people where they are, meeting their immediate needs, interacting with empathy considering experienced trauma – is not a compromise of one’s faith, but a right, just, and valid expression of that faith. Sometimes the courage FCA called us in to in their blog is found by keeping our personal preferences personal in order to help someone else. Said differently, courage can be found in not drawing a line in the sand because we are prioritizing helping someone else rather than fulfilling our own felt need to defend a religious belief.

When we serve trans clients, gay clients, or clients that have had an abortion with no strings attached we are doing the work we are called to do – whether we’re Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, or of another/no faith. This is true because the work is work in service to our clients, not in service to one’s individual faith.

Faith makes a great motivation in serving survivors of human trafficking but falls short of being a holistic strategy. We must employ the best practices of social work, and this includes not discriminating or seeking to change a client’s beliefs or identity. Instead, we do our best work when we honor their perspectives.

United Against Human Trafficking – as an independent agency nearly two decades old, serving as coalition leaders since 2007 – will continue to urge the movement forward toward greater inclusion. This is because we feel that love and compassion — regardless of individual preferences — is not compromise, it is courage.

Indeed, it’s the most sacred work of all.

But no one comes back to the jails…

But no one comes back to the jails…

Absolutely, let’s delve into why individuals in jail are particularly vulnerable to the risk of human trafficking.

Incarcerated individuals are often amongst the most vulnerable and marginalized members of our society. They face a myriad of challenges and barriers that make them easy targets for human traffickers.

Firstly, a large proportion of individuals in jail come from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. They may have limited access to resources, employment, or social support systems. Upon release, these individuals often struggle to secure stable housing and gainful employment due to their criminal record. This desperation and lack of resources can make them prime targets for traffickers who exploit their vulnerabilities by offering false promises of employment, housing, or financial security.

Secondly, the stigma of incarceration can lead to social isolation and marginalization. This sense of isolation can drive individuals towards individuals or groups who appear to offer acceptance and a sense of belonging, even if those groups engage in exploitative practices. Traffickers often prey on this human need for connection and acceptance, using it as a tool to manipulate and control their victims.

Thirdly, many incarcerated individuals have experienced a history of trauma, including physical or sexual abuse, drug addiction, or mental health issues. Such experiences can lead to heightened vulnerability and susceptibility to further victimization, including trafficking. Traffickers can exploit these traumas, using them as a means to control and manipulate their victims.

UAHT’s Real Talk program seeks to address these issues by providing incarcerated individuals with the information, resources, and support they need to protect themselves from trafficking. By fostering open conversations about the realities of trafficking and equipping participants with practical tools and resources, Real Talk aims to empower incarcerated individuals, reducing their vulnerability to exploitation and trafficking.

“I remember visiting the jails week after week, often in tears (even now as I recall those moments). My coworker asked me why I was crying, and I told them it was because one woman in the jail called me her ‘light.’ She said I was her light because I kept coming back. ‘No one comes back to the jails,’ she told me.”

Through the support of generous donors like you, UAHT can continue its mission of bringing hope and light to those most at risk of human trafficking. By supporting UAHT, you’re not just donating money—you’re investing in a future where fewer individuals face the risk of being trafficked.

Become a monthly donor and champion these moments of change and empowerment!

Houston Teen Fights Human Trafficking

Houston Teen Fights Human Trafficking

Have you ever wondered if one person could really make a difference? We’ve seen it firsthand in our amazing volunteer, Corbin, who helped make our Client Alternative Therapy program possible!

As the spring semester was ending, Corbin, a local rising 11th grader, told us she wanted to spend her summer volunteering in the anti-trafficking movement.

She prioritized finding an organization with a strong track record in the community, that worked collaboratively with other agencies and organizations, and that aligned with her personal beliefs about inclusivity and embracing all victims of human trafficking. She found that UAHT checked all her boxes! 

I decided to volunteer with UAHT because UAHT works with survivors of human trafficking helping them heal and rebuild their lives, and it also focuses on working to prevent the demand for human trafficking on the front end. I like that it works at both ends of the spectrum” – Corbin 

Corbin is passionate about promoting mental health.

Wanting to pair her passion with her interest in the anti-trafficking movement, Corbin was excited when we told her about our alternative therapies, like art and journaling, can help victims heal. It was clear this was the perfect opportunity for her!

Wanting to directly impact the lives of those who have experienced human trafficking, Corbin launched a fundraiser to provide art, journaling, and yoga supplies and helped facilitate alternative therapy classes. 

She set a goal to raise $5,000 and began calling and emailing people in her life. Within just 4 days, Corbin exceeded her goal! 

“In raising the funds to make these workshops possible and participating in them personally, my hope was to have a tangible positive impact on survivors’ lives and learn directly from them about the real-life obstacles they face and needs they have.” – Corbin 

But Corbin went above and beyond – not only rallying her friends and providing materials, but also working alongside clients. 

Over the summer, Corbin helped facilitate 10 classes that empower clients to think through their trauma, regulate their nervous systems, and dream about their futures. Thanks to Corbin and her supporters, dozens of survivors participated in classes this summer! 

The most meaningful part of the project for me is getting to know the survivors during the workshops. Hearing their personal stories about how hard they are working to rebuild their lives and understanding the magnitude of the challenges they face in doing so has really affected me.” – Corbin 

Corbin will carry this experience with her into the future. 

This hands-on service-learning experience inspired Corbin to continue fighting for freedom as she grows and enters the world as an adult in the coming year. 

It’s motivated me to want to work hard to find ways to break down the barriers that survivors face and to raise awareness about the truths of this horrible inhumanity that surrounds us here in Houston and all around the world.” – Corbin  

Thank you, Corbin! 

We are deeply grateful for the incredible time and care Corbin gave to UAHT and to our clients. We simply can’t say thank you enough!  

You can make a difference by volunteering with us!

Corbin is one of many volunteers this year who have inspired community members to prevent human trafficking, equipped individuals to respond if they believe someone is being trafficked, and empowered Overcomers to live in freedom! 

You too can make meaningful change by volunteering with us! We have various opportunities like: 

  • Raising awareness online or in person. 
  • Posting the National Human Trafficking Hotline in local businesses.
  • Translating materials into different languages.
  • Organizing our client resource room. 

    If you have any special skills like digital design or can provide legal services or professional development, please us know! 

    Together, we can end human trafficking.