The Salvation Army is the largest non-governmental provider of social services in Canada and has worked with exploited and trafficked individuals for more than 130 years. The Salvation Army is committed to fighting exploitation and human trafficking, championing rehabilitative care and awareness across the country by opening Deborah’s Gate in 2009, the first high security Canadian safe house and residential program of its kind for survivors of human trafficking. We have continued to provide leadership in our field by additionally opening four more holistic, non-residential programs to support survivors to heal and recover from their experience, and live beyond a program.
National Residential Safe House & Rehabilitative Programs
Deborah’s Gate is a national, specialized program of care serving international and domestic women age 18 and up who have been trafficked into situations of sexual and/or labour exploitation, and are in need of protective and restorative housing and healing*. Deborah’s Gate is located in a confidential and secure location providing maximum security measures for those facing high level safety risks. Since inception, over 100 survivors of human trafficking have accessed rehabilitation and healing through Deborah’s Gate. The program is named after Deborah, the first female, Hebrew judge in 1100 BC who, in a time of great oppression and violence against women and children, led the Hebrew people into a season of victory and peace. The word “gate” represents safety and passage into a new place, which our program aims to provide for victims of human trafficking. The impacts of trafficking on a human life is devastating, but Deborah’s Gate aims to change the script of the story. In 2014, we began expanding our rehabilitative programs to including life and living skills development, outreach services, employment training, and mental health and addictions supports to serve the varying needs of survivors across Canada. Please navigate to our Rehabilitation tab for more information on our varying national anti-human trafficking programs.
*sexually exploited children and youth may be considered in consultation with the BC Ministry of Children and Families
Trauma Informed Rehabilitation
The BC Salvation Army Anti-Human Trafficking Programs seek to provide safe and restorative environments, be that residential or on an outreach basis, that foster psychosocial healing for survivors of human trafficking and exploitation. In addition to long-term housing, residents are provided access to emotional, physical, social, psychological, and spiritual support according to their needs such that they are given every opportunity to recover from the devastating effects of the trauma they have experienced. Rehabilitation is a journey and a process that takes time and wrap around, individualized, culturally sensitive support.
Healing From The Inside Out
The BC Salvation Army Anti-Human Trafficking Programs has pioneered the “Freedom Model”, a one of a kind, trauma informed case management model designed to be inclusive of survivor voice while working towards goals that are personalized and oriented towards healing from the inside out. This model utilizes modalities from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Trauma Informed Practice, The Stages of Change, and The Principles of Psychosocial Rehabilitation. Recognizing that the needs of labour and sex trafficked individuals both from Canada and internationally are unique, survivors are given back freedom to begin the road of recovery through individualized care plans, services, and support both within our programs and in and the greater community. We offers services and supports including but not limited to personal goal development & 24 hour staff support, counselling, cooking classes, nutritious meals, art therapy, gardening, yoga, ESL tutoring, tattoo branding removal, transportation, court support and accompaniment, life skills development, monthly group activities, and multi-faith chaplaincy, along with established partnerships in the community for survivors to access medical, mental, optical, and dental health care, pro-bono legal services, school and educational upgrading, culinary programming, and employment opportunities.
The BC Salvation Army Anti-Human Trafficking Programs are first responders in partnership with government, law enforcement, and non-profit organizations across Canada when a trafficked person is identified. Referrals and intakes are processed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.