Canada's First-Ever 24/7 Shelter For Sex Workers Will Open In Vancouver Soon

Organizers say it's badly needed.
Emergency Shelter For Sex-Workers In Vancouver Is The First Of Its Kind In Canada

The Downtown Eastside just got a new temporary emergency shelter for sex-workers in Vancouver.

On Tuesday, September 29, the city announced that it's officially opening in four to six weeks* and will be run by WISH Drop-In Centre Society.

WISH’s Executive Director, Mebrat Beyene, said that a space like this has been needed for a long time.

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WISH is proud and excited to begin operating Canada’s first-ever 24/7 shelter for street-based sex workers.

Mebrat Beyene

In a press release, the organization said that COVID-19 has added a huge burden to poverty, homelessness, and the other provincial health emergency — the overdose crisis. 

"A temporary, emergency shelter like this is absolutely critical—now more than ever," they said.

Inside, there will be enough beds for "23 self-identifying sex working women (cis, trans) and two-spirit folks."

They will be able to shower, do their laundry, and have meals there, too.

It will be a space for people to be safe and call home, temporarily, while they access the helpful programs WISH has available for them.

*This article has been updated.