Furnishing A New Home For Women And Their Children

The Cause

RESET Society of Calgary has been providing a lifeline for women exiting sexual exploitation and sex trafficking since 1989. Our Vision is for sexually exploited women and girls to know there is a way out. Our Mission is to provide comprehensive individualized support and safe housing to women and girls aged 16 and over exiting sexual exploitation and sex trafficking so that they may transform their lives. The EXploitation Intervention and Transition (EXIT) Program at RESET is a proven, trauma-informed three phased continuum of services which holistically supports Participants from exit and stabilization, to healing, capacity building and life-skills development, through to transitioning into independence and empowerment. Throughout the three phases of the EXIT Program, women and their children live in our 2 stages of supportive housing. Women are able to bring their children with them from point of intake. Phase one is our rapid-exit safe house, a 24/7 staffed residence. In phase 2, women and their children move into our supported housing where they are supported by a live-in peer mentor. We are currently in the process of purchasing a new home and would like to utilize funds from Field Law to furnish the 5-bedroom home. Exiting sexual exploitation often includes high-risk violent situations, crisis, and fear. Women and their children come into the EXIT Program with little or no possessions and feelings of low self-worth. We want to not only give Participants and their children a safe place to call home with the necessary items to meet their needs, but also create a healthy long-term environment which cultivates self-worth and recovery. Having a new place to call home with all the necessities provided, gives Participants the chance to start a new chapter in their lives.

Who Will it Benefit?

RESET is located in Calgary, AB, with the majority of women and girls coming from within the province; however, we also accept Participants from across Canada that are escaping organized crime rings. Women aged 16+ (and their children) exiting sexual exploitation and trafficking will benefit from the EXIT Program through increased safety, increased housing stability, reduced harmful behaviors, improved physical and mental health, increased natural supports, increased financial stability, decreased justice system involvement, and ability to maintain long term freedom from sexual exploitation.
Research has shown that lack of housing is a challenge for those exiting the sex trade and that promising practice programs provide immediate safe housing along with supports (Mayhew & Mossman (2007). Last year, 96% of EXIT Program Participants were experiencing homelessness or housing instability at intake. Of that 96%, 33% came straight from an addictions treatment or detox facility, 29% were in the justice system, and 13% were homeless. This highlights the lack of safety and stability that Participants experience prior to entering the EXIT Program. EXIT follows promising practice approaches by providing safe, supportive housing, with immediate attention to physical/mental health needs and substance use concerns for individuals fleeing the sex trade. Children with mothers in the EXIT Program will also benefit as having stable housing increases natural supports and the family’s ability to stay together. During their time in the EXIT Program, Participants who do not have their children in their care are supported in increasing their access and connection to their children. Furnishing the home would ensure the home is able to safely accommodate children of all ages.