FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --An office space being worked on in Fresno may look like a work in progress, but to the women of Beauty for Ashes-- it's a vision of new beginnings. The non-profit that works with victims of human trafficking and prostitutes is creating a refuge for them-- the Hidden Treasures Sanctuary.
"I want them to feel like this is a safe haven-- a place where they can rest and enjoy," said Ana Lopez, Beauty for Ashes founder.
Lopez wants this to be a place for transformation. She gave us a tour of the space that will not only compliment their ministry, but it will offer makeovers for a physical transformation as well.
"We believe that in this place chains are going to be broken. Spiritual chains, mental chains, emotional chains that have kept them bound."
At 25-years-old, Lopez was attacked at gunpoint. She uses that day as inspiration for Beauty for Ashes.
"Had I not gone through that I would not be doing what I'm doing today. God used that to give me compassion in my heart for these individuals on the streets."
In 2015, Fresno Police made more than 130 arrests for prostitution-related offenses including eight pimp or human trafficking suspects. They shut down 14 massage parlors due to illegal prostitution and said 2016 is likely to have similar numbers. The department's vice unit works closely with faith-based organizations like Beauty for Ashes who hopes to offer resources and faith to victims of the sex trade.
Beauty for Ashes is holding their fourth Zumbathon. It's all to raise fund to carry out their mission as well as Furnish Hidden Treasures.
Saturday, September 17th starting at 11:30 a.m.
Harvest Elementary in Fresno
$15 at the door
Ten of the top Zumba instructors, as well as motivational speakers, will be in attendance.