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January 17, 2017

The Metro Vancouver Sex Work Exiting and Transitioning Consortium has received some media coverage as we prepare to launch the 5-year Transitions project.  While Bethany Lindsay’s January 16th article in The Province was a good one, we were dismayed to see an overly sensational and offensive headline.

Province Cover Story_Jan 16 2017Their choice to headline the newspaper with “Bad girls, dirty boys, exploited victims” perpetuates the victimization, targeting, stigmatizing, and even brutalization of sex workers – all the things WISH and our Consortium partners exist to combat. Read our full letter to The Province’s editorial team.







January 5, 2017


For Immediate Release

January 5, 2017

Consortium Formed to Support Sex Worker to Transition Exit or Retire from Sex Industry

Vancouver, B.C. – Vancouver has among North America’s largest sex worker populations, yet there are currently no services explicitly and exclusively designed to assist sex workers in transitioning from sex work involvement to other forms of employment.

See the link below for the full Press Release:

PRESS RELEASE: Consortium Formed to Support Sex Workers to Transition Exit or Retire from Sex Industry



December 20, 2016

As you may have heard, WISH suffered a flood late last night and into this morning.  [read more… letter-from-wish-board_dec-20-2016]


Dec 16, 2016

WISH Statement on December 17, Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers



Dec 9, 2016

A snowy afternoon at WISH…

We had two women pop in during the worst of the snowstorm this afternoon to drop off some coats. They told us the coats were clean and sorted and would be warm for the women.

As they started to leave one of the women turned around, “My daughter used to come here you know” she said “she died in 2014”.

“She liked it at WISH. One of her coats is in the donation. I hope it can keep someone warm. I’m ready to let it go and I like the idea of it coming full circle.”

Then she and her friend were on their way, out into the Vancouver snow storm.

When women stop coming to WISH we always hope for the best but we often don’t know what their next chapter is.

We were honoured this afternoon that this woman shared her story with us and that WISH was an important place for her daughter.

November 17, 2016

Celebrate the Holidays and Support WISH!

Do you have a holiday event coming up? Would you like support WISH to improve the health, safety and well-being of women who are involved in Vancouver’s street-based sex trade? There are a couple of great and simple ways to do this. Call Erin @ 604-669-9474 or email to discuss some options.

Here are three ways to celebrate the season and support WISH at the same time! Thanks so much to the event organisers for choosing WISH!

West Coast Winter Pop-Up-Shop

Back for a second season, we’re excited to celebrate our community with another West Coast Winter. Mark your calendars – this is not your average pop-up shop!

Sat, 26 November 2016

12:00 PM – 6:00 PM PST

Pacific Design Lab Studio

220 Prior Street

Side Door On Station Street


GIVE BACK // Your entry to West Coast Winter is entirely by donation, with all donations going directly to support WISH Drop-In Centre Society.

MEET // Meet local makers and emerging artists.

TASTE // Expect food trucks and healthy samosa bites from local maker Fennel & Co.

SIP // Your entrance donation gets you a refreshing bevvy kindly sponsored by our rad local partners at Main Street Brewing and Cocos Pure.

SHOP // Find that perfect locally made gift for everyone on your list. Makers include:

Serpent Botanical // Romantic + moody holiday wreaths and potted plants

Social Experiment // West Coast inspired gemstone jewellery

Noble & Co. // Hand-dipped Canadian beeswax candles

Handsome Mountain Pet Supplies // Distinct, handcrafted pet products inspired by the life & culture of the Pacific North West.

Pacific Design Lab // Thoughtful home goods crafted with locally sourced materials

DW Leatherworks // Hand-stitched leathergoods for him and her.

Millie and Lou // Curated vintage and one-of-a-kind reworks, hand-printed with Matisse-inspired linework.

CONNECT // Hang out in The Consortium lounge and meet cool folks from the community.


The West Coast Winter Team


Wish Carol Sing-a-long:


Wish Carol Sing-a-long:

Sunday Nov. 27, 4:00 – 7:30 pm-ish – come for just a short time, or the whole night. NO NEED TO RSVP, just drop on by if you can.

Local Loft Coffee House, 2083 Alma St. just west of Alma on 4th Avenue. They have yummy and reasonably-priced food, coffee & tea, cocoa etc. and are licensed for beer, wine and spirits.

Admission: By donation, Cash or cheque only. Tax receipts available for donations,

Donations of new and gently-used items, suggestions here:

This is an ALL AGES event, PLEASE bring the kids! Many of the kids take the stage to sing//play/dance – if your prodigy wants to join in, GREAT! Think of it as a big house party…at a coffee shop. The kids will have a chance to play instruments and dance, though there is no extra playroom as in past…so there are times during the quieter songs when they may be asked to just chill out and listen… ho ho ho.

If you can’t make it, feel free to drop items to us, or directly to WISH in the Downtown Eastside. Call us at 778-838-2302 if you need us to pick up, or if you want us to deliver money or a gift card etc. on your behalf.

For those new to this: it has been a much-loved event for us, we have made many wonderful new friends as a result, and are excited to welcome you. For those returning, be ready to jump up and lead a song or two, and we look forward to reconnecting in song and spirit!


In The Making

DEC 1ST / 6-10 PM Gallery Gachet, 88 E Cordova St, Vancouver

An exhibition for non-artists!


In The Making is a unique opportunity to challenge yourself, your perspective and your creative side. You don’t think you have a creative side? We all have a right side to our brains – let’s wake up and use it!

This is an event for people who have never considered themselves artists, until now. It is time to create something, express yourself, and have fun!

Any form of art will be accepted, painting, photography, sculpture, spoken word, singing, collage, any form, you name it.

Entrance: by donation Proceeds from the event will be going to WISH Drop-in Centre.



November 14, 2016



Click the link below to read the letter from WISH Executive Director , Mebrat Beyene.






News Release


August 3, 2016

Coalition Calls Federal Plan for National Inquiry too Vague

(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C. – August 3, 2016) Today a Coalition on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls responded to the Federal Government’s announcement of the national Inquiry.  The Federal Government has released the names of the Commissioners and the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the Inquiry.

The Coalition continues to demand justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.  We have the following three main concerns with today’s announcement:

1.       The Terms of Reference do not include a robust and binding commitment from the provinces and territories to participating in the Inquiry or implementing any recommendations that may emerge. The participation of the provinces has been described as supportive but there is no legally binding mechanism to compel the production of documents or other evidence. Without proper disclosure, the national inquiry cannot do its work.

2.       Despite repeated calls for the explicit inclusion of policing in the Inquiry’s scope, policing is not mentioned in the terms of reference. The Coalition does not have confidence that the role of policing will be appropriately addressed.

3.       The Terms of Reference fail to provide families with redress for inadequate police investigations into their missing or murdered relatives. The TOR only provides the Commission with the authority to send families back to the local authorities whose very conduct is being questioned, providing no confidence that allegations of police misconduct will be meaningfully addressed.

Decades of ceaseless work by women across the country calling for solutions grounded in Indigenous laws, has culminated in this Inquiry. The Coalition is pleased that the federal government has mandated the Inquiry to examine systemic causes of violence and has taken into account the needs of vulnerable communities and witnesses. However, given the importance and the promise of the Inquiry, we are deeply concerned about the gaps in the framework that stand to undermine the good intentions that have led to the formation of the Inquiry.


The Coalition calls upon the federal, provincial and territorial governments to address the critical gaps in the Terms of Reference and make a legally binding commitment to addressing violence against Indigenous women and girls. Without concrete commitments from the provincial and federal governments to systemic change, the Inquiry risks being more about words than action.


For further information:

 Amnesty International Canada, Jacqueline Hansen, (613) 851-5436 Atira Housing, Janice Abbott, (604) 331-1420 Battered Women’s Support Services, Angela Marie MacDougall, (604) 808-0507 BC Assembly of First Nations, Regional Chief Shane Gottfriedson, (250) 318-8527 BC Civil Liberties Association, Josh Paterson, (778) 829-8973Butterflies in Spirit, Lorelei Williams, (778) 709-6498 Carrier Sekani Family Services, Mary Teegee, (250) 612-8710Carrier Sekani Tribal Council, Tribal Chief Terry Teegee, (250) 640-3256 Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, Alice Kendall, (604) 681-8480 February 14th Women’s Memorial March Committee, Evelyn Youngchief, (778) 888-1687 First Nations Summit, Cheryl Casimer, (778) 875-2157 First United Church, Genesa Greening, (604) 681-8365 Lookout Emergency Aid Society, Shayne Williams, (604) 255-0340 Michele Pineault, family member,<>Neskonlith Indian Band, Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, (250) 319-7383 PHS Community Services Society, Patrick Smith, (604) 779-6837 Pivot Legal Society, Brenda Belak, (604) 537-0680 Poverty and Human Rights Centre, Shelagh Day, (604) 872-0750 RainCity Housing, Amelia Ridgway, (604) 662-7023 Spirit of the Children Society, Christina Coad, (604) 679-4631 Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, (250) 490-5314 Vancouver Council of Women, Rosemary Mallory, (604) 985-0878 Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter, Keira Smith-Tague, (604) 872-8212 West Coast LEAF, Kasari Govender, (604) 684-8772 ext. 212 WISH Drop-in Centre Society, Mebrat Beyene, (604) 669-9474 Women Against Violence Against Women, Irene Tsepnopoulous-Elhaimer, (604) 255-6228 ext 229


The Coalition on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls initially came together in response to the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry in British Columbia overseen by Commissioner Wally Oppal. The Coalition membership includes representation from families, survivors, Indigenous organizations, front-line service organizations, feminist and women’s organizations, legal advocacy sector, faith-based groups, and provincial organizations.  Our breadth of representation and our experience with the Oppal Commission of Inquiry make the Coalition well-positioned to respond to and inform the national inquiry.





June 26, 2016

2016 Scotiabank Charity Challenge a Huge Success!

The Scotiabank Charity Challenge was held on Sunday June 26, 2016 in Stanley Park. It was a postcard perfect day to run /walk the sea wall in support of WISH!

More than $17,000 has been raised to date in support of WISH’s mission to improve the health and safety of women engaged in street based sex work in Vancouver.

Congratulations to Emma Coffin! Emma is our Top Fundraiser raising $2,160.

Emma recently graduated from UBC. She did the Scotiabank 5k to honour her mom Hilda Tam, who passed away in 2012 from breast cancer. Hilda worked with organizations and shelters that helped find housing for low-income people in the Downtown Eastside for many years, including 5 years at Triage. Emma chose to run on behalf of WISH in order commemorate her mother’s efforts to help people in the Downtown Eastside.

Thanks so much Emma!

Congratulations also goes to Alem Beyene-Clark for being the participant with the most donations. Alem received a whopping 68 donations!

Fundraising is still ongoing until July 25th… We are so close to $20,000. Can you help get us there?

Thank you to all of our Runners and Walkers!

We appreciate all your hard work!

Mebrat Beyene
Alem Beyene-Clark
Red Borrowman
Melissa Braschel
Krista Butler
Sarah Ciarrocchi
Christina Coad
Emma Coffin
Kathleen Deering
Andrea Krusi
Sarah Langford
Anna Marsh
Mia Marshall
Lawrence Matrick
Siobhan McCormick
Lauren McCraw
Amy McDicken
Erin McNeill
Sarah Orr
Amalia Schon
Jen Veasey
Casey Wallace
Emma Watkinson
Megan Yerxa


Sandra and Ayam , WISH Staff

Ayan and Sandra, WISH Drop-in Staff




Jen Veasey

Jen Veasey, WISH Cook and Drop-In Staff

Former WISH Board Member Siobhan McCormick and Current WISH Vice Chair Sarah Orr

Former WISH Board Member Siobhan McCormick and Current WISH Vice Chair Sarah Orr

Alem, Winner of the top prize for the number of donations; 68!

Alem, Winner of the top prize for the number of donations; 68!





June 2, 2016

Press Release

Read the full press release here: LIC press release Best Practices Forum 02Jun2016


Sex Work: Transitioning, Retiring and Exiting Report


Violence Against Women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Continues

Getting to the Roots

After a series of sexual assaults in a co-ed shelter came to light late in 2011, a group of women-serving organizations in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside came together to denounce the circumstances surrounding this and other unreported sexual violence, including a culture of silence and complicity.

Read more:

Getting to the Roots




BILLC36 Information


The Missing Women Commission of Inquiry:    Transcripts of Testimony

Read the Living in Community Action Plan                                Click Here

Community Health and Safety Initiative Toolkit                         Click Here


Please check the “Fundraising Events” for upcoming events.