1) Increase community awareness for the prevention and identification of human trafficking victims.
2) Increase investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases at a local, state and federal level.
3) Provide coordinated, comprehensive, trauma-informed services to the individualized needs of human trafficking victims.
History and Structure
The Heart of Texas Human Trafficking Coalition was formed in 2015 to bring together professionals from area agencies to collaborate in the fight against human trafficking. These agencies include local, state and federal law enforcement, state and federal prosecutors, victim service providers, governmental and non-governmental organizations, faith-based groups and more. The six counties included in the Heart of Texas are Bosque, Falls, Freestone, Hill, Limestone and McLennan Counties.
In 2016, the Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime and Bureau of Justice Assistance awarded the coalition a grant to fund the development of the coalition. This grant funded several positions including a full-time human trafficking investigator and case manager, as well as additional assistance for victims of severe forms of human trafficking.
The Coalition meets for quarterly roundtables to share information and increase knowledge of trafficking-related topics. Bi-monthly subcommittees also meet to accomplish tasks in specific areas. These subcommittees are: Prevention, Protection & Prosecution, Partnership and Program Evaluation.
UnBound mobilizes the Church and activates local communities to fight human trafficking through prevention, professional training and survivor advocacy.
Lone Star Legal Aid provides free legal services to low-income and underserved populations.
Jesus Said Love goes into strip clubs across Texas, builds relationships with commercial sex exploits without strings attached, and connects them to community and spiritual resources.
The mission of the Lacy Lakeview Police Department is to enforce the laws of the Great State of Texas fairly and impartially, work with and for the Citizens of our Community following the principles of Community Policing, and always be there for those in need.
The mission of the Waco Police Department is to provide police services to the Waco Community with integrity, professionalism, accountability and respect, to preserve life and property, to enforce the law within the framework of the Constitution, to work in partnership with the community, and to be good stewards of the public’s trust and resources. The core values of the Crimes Against Children Unit are: We act in the interests of children and justice. Our role is as independent fact finders. We serve as a part of a larger team.
The mission of Waco Center for Youth is “to give each youth a chance for change" by providing comprehensive psychiatric residential treatment services to emotionally disturbed adolescents of the state of Texas.
The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
The mission of McLennan County Juvenile Probation Department is to provide services that will protect the community from delinquency, to enforce sanctions and offer rehabilitative opportunities that are in the best interest of the juvenile.
The Bellmead Police Department emphasizes fair, consistent, professional, and equal law enforcement and community policing. The overall goal of the organization is to develop problem-solving techniques, in conjunction with the community that will increase the quality of life for the residents, while reducing crime.
The call of Mission Waco Mission World is to empower the poor and marginalized; mobilize the middle class to compassionate involvement, and address the systemic injustices that impact the poor.
The mission of the Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children is to promote healing of children and crime victims through advocacy, collaboration, prevention and treatment.
Waco ISD Homeless Outreach provides support to WISD Families and Youth experiencing homelessness.
The mission of Communities In Schools is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.
VASA is a community coalition that researches and environmentally addresses the use and abuse of alcohol, marijuana, and prescriptions drugs by youth and young adults in McLennan County.
The Family Health Center exists to enhance the health of the community by improving access to excellent primary and preventive healthcare services to the vulnerable and underserved residents of the Heart of Texas and by educating tomorrow’s Family Physicians and other healthcare professionals.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® opened in 1984 to serve as the nation’s clearinghouse on issues related to missing and sexually exploited children. Today NCMEC is authorized by Congress to perform 22 programs and services to assist law enforcement, families, and the professionals who serve them.
The Texas Regional Office provides prevention services through safety education to children, families, schools and the larger community in Texas. We conduct training, and provide technical assistance and resources to law enforcement personnel and others who investigate crimes committed against children, specifically cases of child sexual exploitation. We also provide support for parents of missing or exploited children, and we assist in the location of children, as well as the location of adults who have been missing or exploited since they were children.
She Is Freedom is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in Central Texas. We were founded to assist survivors of human trafficking within the United States. We will provide a physical home for youth who have otherwise been classified as “throw-aways.” It will be a safe place to heal, learn, grow, and dream. Children who have only known abuse, betrayal, and exploitation will learn how to make healthy choices, how to interact appropriately with others, and be given the skills necessary to live independently and successfully.
Bussard Law is the only firm in Texas focused exclusively on representing victims of human sex trafficking. The firm is the first in Texas to file a civil suit based on state law, Liability for Human Trafficking Chapter 98.
MCH Family Outreach offers family based services designed to strengthen families through in-home case management, parent education, caregiver empowerment groups and community partnerships.
The McLennan County Criminal District Attorney’s Office is dedicated to the pursuit of justice. As a member of HOTHTC, our purpose is to combat human trafficking through aggressive prosecution of perpetrators, to provide survivors with access to the support and services they need to keep themselves safe and to educate our community in order to spread awareness and effectively combat all forms of human trafficking in McLennan County.