Family Violence Initiative

COMPENDIUM OF PROMISING PRACTICES TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AND INCREASE SAFETY OF ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN CANADA – COMPENDIUM ANNEX: DETAILED PRACTICE DESCRIPTIONS

SOCIAL CONDITIONS

Outreach to Sex Trade Workers

Program name:

Giving Hope: Empowering Women and Communities

Organization:

Prince George New Hope Society

Location:

Prince George, British Columbia

Target Group:

Women and girls working in the sex trade in the Prince George area. 95% of program participants are Aboriginal women.

Contact Name:

Jan Wilson, Program Coordinator

Phone:

250-562-8680

Email:

jan_newhope@hotmail.com

Website:

www.princegeorgenewhopesociety.ca

Program Overview
History:

The program, "Giving Hope: Empowering Women and Communities", was started in 2005. At that time, the program operated one day per week. From 2009 until 2011, the program operated 5 days per week. From January to June 2011, the program ran 2 days per week. From June 2011 to February 2012 (time of this report), the program ran 1 day per week. Fluctuations in the funding of the program account for the differences in days of operation.

Program Description
Goals & Objectives:

To identify and address the barriers that women, both adult and youth, face while working in the sex trade in Prince George and northern B.C.; to facilitate educational opportunities that will empower women and girls who work and live in this environment; to improve the health status of people living with HIV/AIDS and HCV; to address the issues around STDs and other diseases and to support and promote experiential leadership, the development of essential services and a continuum of services for active sex workers.

Traditional/Indigenous ways:

N/A.

Components of program:

The "Giving Hope: Empowering Women and Communities" program offers a safe drop-in centre for women working in the sex trade. Food and coffee is available and the women help in meal preparation. One to one supportive counselling is available. Women learn about the services available to them: women's shelters, treatment programs, victim services, RCMP (sex crime division), Northern HIV/AIDS Health Education Society (Positive Living North Aids Society). Staff from these service organizations do workshops with the women. Workshop topics also include: street safety, self-esteem, 'bad dates', addictions, HIV, Hepatitis C, and advocacy. The drop-in centre also offers a telephone service so women can make appointments and stay in touch with family and friends.

Services/How they work:

Services are offered on site at the facility.

Funding:

Funding has been provided by the Department of the Status of Women Canada, the United Way and the BC Employees Union.

Relationships and Stakeholders
Involvement of Target Groups:

The Board of Directors of the New Hope Society, elected at yearly AGMs, is composed of women in the Prince George area from various backgrounds. These board members attend periodic lunch meetings to provide their input and bring forward their concerns and issues.

Partners:

RCMP; Prince George Needle Exchange; Active Support Against Poverty; Prince George Women's Shelter; Victim Services; Advocating for Women and Children; Probation Services.

Other relationships:

N/A

Details of Program Evaluation
Evaluation:

No evaluation has been completed.

Highlights of Evaluation Findings:

N/A

Program Outcomes
Measures of Success:

Success is measured by the number of clients that build trust with the organization and come to see the facility as their own space to be comfortable in. Program participation is also an indicator of success.

Achievements:

The New Hope Centre is a support and resource for women who previously had no supports or resources. There are positive changes in the women and positive responses to the programming. The facility is a safe place for clients, and staff are building relationships with them.

Challenges:

Obtaining ongoing funding.

Things to Know to Replicate
Replication Advice:

The program is considered replicable. No advice given.

Resources:

It is most important to access stable long term funding for a program of this type, hire qualified and knowledgeable staff and have adequate facility space to ensure the program's success.

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