Metro Vancouver has among North America’s largest sex worker populations. In addition to the many barriers to exiting sex work, there is a lack of services for sex workers who wish to transition to other employment.
LAST MONDAY OF EVERY MONTH | 6PM – 8PM | FREE EVENT
Upcoming dates: April 30, May 28, June 25
Join community instructors from the UBC Learning Exchange and DTES Literacy Roundtable for Tech Café, a new initiative at the WISH Learning Centre. Learn more about how to use androids, iPhones, tablets, iPads, laptops, email, and social media. Become tech savvy! Tech Café is held in the WISH Learning Centre located inside the WISH Drop-In Centre at 334 Alexander Street, Vancouver, and is open from 6:00 to 8:30 pm. For more information, please contact WISH at 604-669-9474.
THIRD THURSDAY OF THE MONTH | 5PM – 7PM | FREE EVENT
If you are an indoor sex worker, join PACE for a potluck dinner! Build community with your peers. Dinners are held the third Thursday of every month. PACE Society is located at 148 W. Hastings St. in Vancouver. Contact Kit at email@example.com for more information and to RSVP.
Explore your musical groove with Lucy! Activities include song-sharing circles, drumming groups (in partnership with the WISH Aboriginal Health and Safety Program), song-writing support and jam sessions. Music Therapy is held in the WISH Learning Centre located inside the WISH Drop-In Centre at 334 Alexander Street, Vancouver, and is open every Sunday from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. For more information, please contact WISH at 604-669-9474.
Join instructors at the WISH Learning Centre to engage in a wide range of activities, such as developing your communication skills, writing letters, poetry and journaling, and engaging in creative hands-on activities. Facilitators also provide tutoring if you wish to upgrade your education. The WISH Learning Centre is located inside the WISH Drop-In Centre at 334 Alexander Street, Vancouver, and is open from 6:00 to 8:30 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays every week throughout the year. For more information, please contact WISH at 604-669-9474.
Join PACE Society at 148 W. Hastings St., Vancouver for the next round of Occupational Health & Safety workshops starting April 16. For more information on the workshop or on becoming a member of PACE, contact Kit at firstname.lastname@example.org or Silver at email@example.com.
Join PACE Society at 148 W. Hastings St., Vancouver for a Tax workshop followed by Q&A with a qualified tax specialist. Questions to be covered include: Why do sex worker’s want to file? What can sex worker’s claim as a tax deduction? How can I claim my taxes, if what I do is kind of illegal? What are the pros and cons of filing? PACE’s space is wheelchair accessible and open to all genders. PLEASE RSVP with your tax questions to firstname.lastname@example.org as space is limited.
Responding to the growing use of web platforms in the sex industry, and the high levels of engagement that the GBTIQ2S+ community has with Health Initiative for Men (HIM) on social media (Facebook primarily), the Transitions HIM Facebook page was launched on Tuesday, January 23, 2018! The primary purpose of launching this page is to reach out to male sex workers who are active on social media platforms like Facebook, as well as their friends, acquaintances and allies. This will facilitate awareness, contact, and access to the program. Additionally, the page serves as a vehicle to spread the word on social networks about Transitions, and as a platform to share news, events, and content relevant to Transitions participants, and male sex workers. The Transitions HIM Facebook page will inform and educate our main audience (GBTIQ2S+ community) on sex work matters and strengthen the presence of the program in web platforms used by community members and guys in the sex industry. Check it out! https://www.facebook.com/HIMtransitions/
The WISH Transitions program engaged in a partnership with WISH’s Supported Employment Program to pilot a new initiative. The four-month computer literacy program started with six participants who were learning computer skills while conducting a research project. The objective was to have this small cohort develop a Transitions specific curriculum for viably and realistically reducing dependence on sex work income for street-based survival sex workers. The group met weekly, with initial attendance and participation fluctuating between three to five people. Due to various reasons, only one person, Lori (*name changed for anonymity) had completed the program when it ended.
However, Lori thrived in this program. She developed computer skills, learned how to do research, and read two books on the topic of self-esteem and confidence. She learned how to refer to citations to find books in the public library on topics that interested her. Lori discovered that she loved doing research. She wrote a 2-page paper, on the computer using Word, on her topic “Self-Esteem and Addiction”. Lori will be supported to develop her study findings into an educational pamphlet, and eventually into workshop curriculum that she will facilitate to her peers.
On Sunday, December 17, 2017, PACE Society hosted a “Ho-Ho-Ho Holiday Bazaar.” Over 15 vendors participated in the event, including Transitions Consortium members WISH Drop-In Society and Battered Women’s Support Services’ social enterprise “My Sister’s Closet.” Vendors sold handmade and vintage gifts that were at times fun and cheeky!
At the Bazaar, PACE launched its first ever chapbook, a collection of sex workers’ stories inspired by a series of workshops titled “Sex Workers’ Wisdom: Writing Workshops” facilitated by the writer Amber Dawn.
WISH used this event to have its Transitions participants practice micro-enterprise skills. Participants in the winter art and craft show were supported to develop and implement a budget, timeline and financial projection. At the Bazaar, WISH had a couple of tables for its participants to display and sell their wares. Follow-up will occur to debrief and evaluate their financial planning.
On the day of the event, Vancouver was hit by a monsoon, so walk-by traffic was not as high as usual. However, vendors enjoyed the comraderie, and are looking forward to the 2018 event.