Family Violence Initiative

COMPENDIUM OF PROMISING PRACTICES TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AND INCREASE SAFETY OF ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN CANADA

SOCIAL CONDITIONS

Outreach to Sex Trade Workers

Program Name:

Project SNUG: Integrated Community Response to Prostitution

Organization/Community:

Métis child and Family Services Society

Location:

Edmonton, Alberta

Website:

www.metischild.com

Goals and Objectives:

To help provide for the safety and mental health of street workers.

Target Group Description:

Street workers, as young as 12 years, and as old as 62 years, and their families.

Program Description:

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, 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. Ceremonies such as sweat lodges are made available to clients upon request.

Program Successes/Impact:

As a result of the program, police are more understanding toward girls working the streets; girls are more likely to approach police for assistance.

Key Lessons/ Challenges:

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.

Program in operation since:

2006.

Program:

Ongoing.