PATH was formed as a Coalition approximately August, 2015 , and in December, 2015, a Steering Committee was formed to enable better focus on ending human trafficking in South Lake Tahoe.
Our Mission is ‘To increase community awareness of human trafficking, through education, and prevention.’ Our goal is to partner and collaborate with local City of South Lake Tahoe, and El Dorado County agencies to help abolish human trafficking in our community and region.
2019 saw a year of transition for PATH. Our partner, 3 Strands Global, changed the nature of their education services, into an online program teachers would incorporate into their curriculum. In lieu of using this methodology, PATH partnered with Live Violence Free who had received grant funding for a Human Trafficking Coordinator. This grant money ended, and PATH is continuing to pursue ways to educate our youth about the dangers of human trafficking. We also saw the resignation of a key member of the Steering Committee, Jane Flavin, our liaison with Live Violence Free. It is our goal to reestablish this important partnership in 2020.
January 30, 2018 – PATH hosted a community event at Duke Theater to raise awareness of human trafficking. We believe it was a successful event with approximately 100 attendees! A short documentary was shown, followed by a presentation by PATH’s partner, 3 Strands Global. They presented a prevention education program PATH is working to bring to LTUSD, which includes age-appropriate curriculum to 5th, 7th, 9th, and 11th grades. We encourage interested people to write to the School Board and Dr. Tarwater, expressing your support of bringing this program to South Lake Tahoe schools. Here is an excellent article from South Tahoe Now about our event.
In February, PATH received a large donation from The Vagina Monologues for education in the schools. We are grateful for the community support of our local Coalition Against Human Trafficking. At the showing of The Vagina Monologues, we also sold bracelets from 3 Strands Global (bracelets made by survivors of trafficking). This was an outreach opportunity where PATH Steering Committee Members manned a table with the bracelets and spread the word about our work.
Also in February, PATH obtained a new Fiscal Sponsor – El Dorado Community Fund. If you wish to make a donation to PATH, make checks payable to El Dorado Community Fund, with PATH in the memo field of the check.
In May, 2017, PATH partnered with 3 Strands global to present eight 90-minute presentations educating over 300 ninth grade students at South Tahoe High School. Several kids came forward with situations, or were moved to tears hearing the presentation. Yes, trafficking does happen here in South Lake Tahoe, and PATH is committed to educating as many kids as possible in prevention awareness training.
Also in May, 2017, PATH went live with this website, thanks to the skills and volunteered time of Hanna Bernard (Highmark Designs), a member of our Coalition.
In June, we purchased outreach materials t assist PATH in manning tables, distributing brochures and business cards, through funds earmarked for PATH by the SLT Soroptimist Chapter. In July, representatives from the Steering Committee visited 3 Strands Global in El Dorado Hills to vet the organization with whom we will be coordinating the PROTEC educational program for 5th, 7th, 9th, and 11th grade students (in an age appropriate manner).
In August, thanks to the efforts of Cheyanne Lane, PATH Steering Committee member, we now have PATH signs about Human Trafficking an the National Hotline Number posted on all City of SLT buses.
In September, the Steering Committee met for an extended meeting and conducted Strategic Planning through September, 2018. We performed a SWOT Analysis identifying our Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, developed a Gap Analysis, and concluded with a full Strategic Plan for the coming year.
Starting in October, the Committee focused on developing a program to present during Human Trafficking Awareness Month in January, 2018.
In January, 2016 we submitted a Proclamation for National Human Trafficking Month to both the City of South Lake Tahoe and El Dorado County. We continue to work with both the City and County in their efforts to fight human trafficking in our community.
In March, we partnered with 3 Strands Global, a west slope non-profit, that provided trafficking prevention education to all of the 9th graders at South Tahoe High School. This was an eye opening experience for these kids who are at such a vulnerable age, and there were several kids who personally thanked the trainer for the important information and shared their experiences with her.
In April, 2016, we co-sponsored with Friends of the Library, to host an evening with John Vanek, introducing his new book ‘What you need to know about Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery.’ John has been a tremendous help to our Steering Committee, and we are so very fortunate to have such an expert in this field as our mentor and consultant.
Starting in May, 2016, we were asked to advocate for stricter regulations for the multitude of massage businesses in town, culminating in a more strict ordinance presented by Chief Uhler and adopted by the City Council in late July, 2016. In June, 2016, PATH was listed as a resource on the El Dorado County Health and Human Services website page on Human Trafficking, and we assisted in providing local contacts to distribute information on SB1193. This is a law that requires certain businesses to post the National Trafficking Hotline number for the public and victims of human trafficking. Both Live Violence Free and Tahoe Youth and Family Services are now on the National Hotline resource list, which has led to several successful rescues.