The Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition was formed in January 2009 to respond to human trafficking. It is comprised of health care, social service, law enforcement, government agencies, churches, citizens, and those that are or have been involved in the sex industry working together to develop appropriate prevention strategies and intervention responses to victims of trafficking.
Over 4,000 individuals received training in 2013. Other achievements include the implementation of standard victim identification protocols in the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, the creation of a Public Service Announcement, screening tools produced for United Way 2-1-1 and events including the International Human Trafficking, Prostitution and Sex Work Conference, Traffic Jam and a local Human Trafficking Awareness Month event.
To unite the community to combat human trafficking.
A community without human trafficking.
The majority of the work for the Coalition occurs in Committees. The Coalition is now divided into the following committees:
- Responsible for financial development (i.e., bringing in funds to support LCHTC efforts).
Events and Marketing
- Responsible for event planning, as well as the production, implementation, and maintenance of LCHTC marketing materials.
- Responsible for community awareness, education, and prevention.
- Responsible for the establishment, implementation, and maintenance of protocols in criminal justice, healthcare, mental health, and school settings.
- Responsible for distribution, implementation, and monitoring of funds granted by the LCHTC.
Starting on May 2014, the coalition meets at the Kent Branch Library, 3101 Collingwood Blvd., Toledo, OH 43610 (corner of Collingwood and Central) on the third Wednesday of the month. The library opens at 9am and the full Coalition meets from 9:15am to 11:15am.
Committees are scheduled to meet during the full Coalition meetings. Please refer to the by-laws for detailed description of the goals and purpose for each committee.
Each individual is expected to sign in at every meeting and introduce themselves during introductions. Minutes are recorded and e-mailed to Coalition members. An agenda is created every month; members can request to add items to the agenda.
Mary Jay (Co-chair of the Coalition) is a Disease Intervention Specialist (DIS) working at the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department since 2002. As a DIS, Mary works with people who have been diagnosed with HIV and/or syphilis, and has been a member of the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition since its inception in 2008. She implemented the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department’s (TLCHD) human trafficking response plan in 2010, making the TLCHD the first health department in the state of Ohio to institute such a strategy. Ms. Jay conducts human trafficking presentations around the state of Ohio, and also presented at the Ohio Attorney General’s annual conference.
Laura Neal (Co-chair of the Coalition) has worked for Lucas County Children Services for nearly 27 years and as an active member of the Coalition for 5 years. She is the Assistant Manager of the Family Services Department and provides direct supervision to the single case worker whose caseload is dedicated to serving rescued victims and their families.
Jared S. Rose (Secretary) is a licensed clinical counselor and nationally certified counselor whose areas of expertise include HIV/AIDS, human trafficking, sex/gender minorities, sexual health, and impact of culture on sexualization of children & the sexual exploitation of women/girls. He has been a member of the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition since its inception. Since that time he has served in a variety of roles including chairing of committees and six years on the organizing committee for the annual International Conference on Human Trafficking & Social Justice. Mr. Rose is completing his doctoral degree in counselor education and supervision at the University of Toledo, and is an Assistant Professor at Bowling Green State University.
Deborah Wedding (Treasurer) has worked for Lucas County Children Services for 23 years as an ongoing family caseworker. She has been a member of the Coalition for almost 2 years. She services families through Lucas County Family Drug Court and has been identified to work with minor human trafficking victims and their families. She has volunteered on the International Conference on Human Trafficking, Prostitution and Sex Work.
Laura Draheim (Chair of the Education Committee) recently retired from a career in child welfare, primarily overseeing programming in adoption and foster care. Currently, she serves on community boards as a volunteer and consults with community agencies, assisting with their program development and agency promotion.
Faith Kelleher (Chair of the Events and Marketing Committee) is the development manager for the Production Department at A Renewed Mind Services, a program that aims to help youth develop vocational and social skills in Northwest Ohio. Faith initially joined the fight against human trafficking by interning for the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition while earning her master’s degree in Social Work. Faith works to raise awareness on human trafficking by presenting to local groups and organizations and by administering LCHTC social media.
Celia Williamson (co-chair of the Protocols committee), Ph.D., Professor of Social Work at the University of Toledo, founded the first program for domestic victims in Ohio in 1993. She has completed 9 studies, 17 articles/reports, and edited 2 books on prostitution and sex trafficking around the world. She has been funded by the DOJ or NIH from 2002 to 2012 to conduct research in this area. Celia co-chairs the oldest annual academic conference on human trafficking in the nation. She founded the LCHTC, chairs the Research and Analysis Committee for Ohio’s State anti-Trafficking Commission, and is an Editorial Manager for the Journal of Human Trafficking.
Ashley Wickerham-Cutcher (co-chair of the Protocols committee), MSW, is the Associate Director of the Human Trafficking & Social Justice Institute at the University of Toledo. In addition to co-chairing the Protocols & Procedures Committee, Ashley is an active member of the conference planning committee that organizes the International Human Trafficking, Prostitution, and Sex Work Conference each year at the University of Toledo. Ashley also serves as a member of the Ohio Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Research and Analysis committee.
Geneva Mason (chair of the Development committee) works for TARTA.
Jennifer Wedge (chair of the Grants committee) began her career in human services 16 years ago as a registered nurse. In 2013, in response to her increasing awareness of human trafficking, Jennifer made a profound shift in her career path in order to devote her energies to more effectively help fight the crime of human trafficking and its effects on victims. She has been the Volunteer Administrative Assistant for the Legal Aid of Western Ohio’s Human Trafficking Protection Project since October of 2013. In addition to her membership in the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition and chair of the Grants Sub-Committee, Jennifer is a member and co-founder of the Defiance Area chapter of the Northwest Ohio Rescue & Restore Coalition. She currently attends Defiance College, graduating in May 2016 with a BS in Criminal Justice. Her student activities include co-founder, member, and current treasurer of “Free the Slaves: Defiance College Chapter”, Defiance’s student-led anti-trafficking organization, and member of the Criminal Justice Society. After graduating Defiance College, Jennifer plans to attend University of Toledo School of Law.
Keith Instone (IT support) is a user experience consultant.
Also, Amy LaGesse is a guest of the Executive Committee based on her role as the Regional Grant Coordinator for the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition.