Supportive Employment Program

The goal of the Supportive Employment Program (SEP) is to break down barriers and provide support for sex workers seeking mainstream employment opportunities. SEP is here for any WISH participant ready for change. Together with our participants, SEP staff develop personalized plans to help them achieve their employment goals.

In SEP, we’re dedicated to equipping participants with the skills, tools, and confidence they need for success in gaining and maintaining mainstream employment. We prioritize self-determination through advocacy, education, and empowerment. Our program offers comprehensive support tailored to individual strengths, with access to essential WISH resources such as healthcare, legal aid, social support, and housing assistance.

“You all really believed in me. Two years ago, I never thought I’d be working here and now I am. I didn’t know if you all really meant it. It’s true and I can’t believe it – it’s amazing.”
– Supportive Employment Participant

Peers and staff employed by WISH receive a wage that is both fair and equitable. Wages are on par with WISH program staff. In every interaction, we approach our peers and staff with humility, sensitivity, and a commitment to amplifying their voices. SEP values the experiences and insights of everyone involved, fostering a collaborative environment to continuously improve and extend our program’s impact.

“I feel like I now have the confidence to achieve.”
– Supportive Employment Participant

Generously funded by:
Province of BC (Gaming)
Vancouver Coastal Health
The Sprott Foundation
Vancity Community Foundation
Vancouver Foundation
Wickerson Foundation

What's Happening

Peer Volunteer Program (PVP):

o Lowest barrier program
o Focus on pre-employment skills
o Program capacity: 20


o Medium barrier program 
o Employment geared towards harm reduction 
o Program capacity: 8

Peer Safety program (PSP):

o  Medium barrier program 
o  Heavy focus on gaining frontline support skills 
o  Program capacity: 20


o  Intermediate barrier program 
o  Responsible for supervising all peer programs 
o  Program capacity: 6

Program Partners:

  • East Vanity Parlour
  • EMBERS Staffing Solutions
  • Eastside Works
  • 312 Main
  • Green Event Services
  • Vancouver Public Library
  • Family Services of Greater Vancouver