COMPENDIUM OF PROMISING PRACTICES TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AND INCREASE SAFETY OF ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN CANADA – COMPENDIUM ANNEX: DETAILED PRACTICE DESCRIPTIONS
Outreach to Sex Trade Workers
- Program name:
Project SNUG: Integrated Community Response to Prostitution
Métis Child and Family Services Society
- Target Group:
Street workers, as young as 12 years, and as old as 62 years, and their families.
- Contact Name:
Founded six years ago, the program has helped to assist street walkers in becoming safer, gaining access to medical care and has also helped to build trust between those on the street and local police.
- Goals & Objectives:
To help provide for the safety and mental health of street workers.
- Traditional/Indigenous ways:
Ceremonies such as sweat lodges are also made available to clients upon request.
- Components of program:
Project SNUG is an outreach program where a coordinator goes out on rides to provide supports to girls working the streets. A SNUG is performed up to three times a month, and runs from late evening until 2 or 3 in the morning. Staff do counts, maintain a data base with pictures and next of kin contacts, provide food, personal needs, keep track of girls, help with child welfare, and provide in-home family support when needed. If girls want off the street, the program assists them in attending an addictions treatment and detox centre, Poundmakers' Lodge, which is an Aboriginal program.
- Services/How they work:
Services are provided on site at the facility.
Funding is received through private donations and leveraging funds from other programs to cover staffing wages.
Relationships and Stakeholders
- Involvement of Target Groups:
Families of street walkers are contacted to keep the program data base up to date, identify pictures taken, and confirm that family information on file is current.
Edmonton Police Service; REACH (municipal strategy for crime prevention, and safe communities); Poundmaker's Lodge (Aboriginal Addictions Program); Alberta Mental Health; Children's Services; School Boards.
- Other relationships:
Local Church groups
Details of Program Evaluation
No evaluation has been completed.
- Highlights of Evaluation Findings:
- Measures of Success:
The number of times a girl on the streets is seen or apprehended.
As a result of the program, police are more understanding of girls working the streets; girls are more likely to approach police for assistance now. The program has helped the girls get treatment, and arrange for medicals.
It is difficult keeping the women safe, finding them housing and supports, convincing them that there is another way, and helping the women who have kids in care.
Things to Know to Replicate
- Replication Advice:
This kind of program has been implemented in other provinces, as well as similar ones in Dallas, Texas. Yes, it could be replicated. Staff have to know the streets, and street culture.
Adequate funding to pay staff wages, provide meals, and run events for clients would be needed. Staff would need to be empathetic to the ways of those living a street life.
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