Our mission is to improve the health, safety and well-being of women who are involved in Vancouver’s street-based sex trade. Our vision is for every woman to have access to opportunities to make free, healthy and positive choices.
Women who engage in sex work are some of the most vulnerable in our society. Those who engage in street-based sex work are even more at risk of social stigma, violence and health crises.
WISH Drop-In Centre Society provides support to women who work in the street-based sex trade—60 percent of whom are homeless, and half of whom are Indigenous. On average, sex workers in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside enter prostitution at age 14. They have a life expectancy of 40.
In the face of this trauma, WISH offers a range of services to support women who are often denied both their basic needs as well as a sense of dignity and self-worth. We host a nightly Drop-In Centre open 365 days per year, providing a safe place to rest, have a hot meal, shower and connect with community. We check the safety of women working on the streets, and offer harm reduction supplies, through our Mobile Access Project (MAP) Van which drives across the city every night. We also provide far-reaching opportunities designed to enable longer-term support, such as our Learning Centre, Supportive Employment Program and Music Therapy Program.
Women in the WISH community—while they face incredible challenges— are resilient, intelligent and strong. They survive, create and care for each other in a society that routinely denies them a voice and discounts their humanity.
In a place of compassion and trust and without judgement—a place where all women are valued—sex workers can begin to make healthier, more positive choices to enhance the quality of their lives. WISH is such a place.