WISH’s 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.
Based in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, WISH has been a refuge and an essential point of contact for street-based sex workers who have been made vulnerable due to poverty, homelessness, trauma, violence, stigma, and a lack of access to supports and opportunities. Eighty per cent of WISH participants are homeless, half of them are Indigenous. All live in poverty.
WISH respects that the gender spectrum is fluid and, as an organization that is committed to inclusion, our programs are open and responsive to cis and trans women and people of marginalized genders, including Two-Spirit and non-binary people.
Street-based sex workers can come to our nightly Drop-In Centre and emergency Shelter 365 days per year, and find 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. Participants can also access far-reaching opportunities designed to enable longer-term support such as our Indigenous Health and Safety Program, Learning Centre, Supportive Employment Program, and Music Therapy Program. Street-based sex workers can also count on crucial one-to-one support thanks to our InReach Program.