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.
Deborah’s Gate Residential Program
Deborah’s Gate offers wrap around, customized support for each individual. Internal supports and programming include but are not limited to personal goal development & 24 hour staff support, specialized counselling, cooking classes, nutritious meals, art therapy, gardening, yoga, ESL tutoring, life skills development, weekly and monthly group activities, and multi-faith chaplaincy.
Renew Mental Health And Addictions Program
In 2017, we launched the first ever Canadian specialized mental health and addictions program for survivors of human trafficking, which runs for the first three months of every resident’s stay at Deborah’s Gate. This holistic program offers full time day programming for residential clients which will encompass group and individualized support utilizing modalities such as; SMART Recovery, Dialectic Behavioral Therapy, Seeking Safety, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, and Mindfulness Relapse Prevention, along with specialized education and support related to exploitation. Renew has been developed with survivors for survivors and provides a trauma informed space to heal and recover from the impacts of trafficking. This program serves as a platform to renew and restore the heart and mind through building baseline stability, in preparation of pursuing future goals such as education and employment. In 2018, we received support from The BC Provincial Government & The Department of Justice Canada to expand a smaller version of Renew for our non-residential outreach clients across Canada.
We are excited to share that due to the success of our pilot Renew project, we are offering an intensive, full-time stream of Renew in our residential program, as well as an external, part-time basic foundations stream for our community based clients living in community, including northern & interior regions of Canada, and correctional institutions for 2018-2020. We are grateful to the Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General of BC, and The Department of Justice Canada, for their support of this expansion.
New Hope: National Outreach Services
In 2014, Deborah’s Gate launched New Hope: National Outreach Services, for survivors across Canada. This program is the first point of contact for survivors, with the goal of providing a spark of new hope that freedom, exiting, and healing is possible. National Outreach support is available for individuals who have experienced trafficking and/or exploitation, as well as law enforcement and service providers, to be assisted to connect to resources and supports, including Deborah’s Gate. Since inception, hundreds of individuals in emergent circumstances have been assisted to connect to vital supports and exit exploitive circumstances.
Thanks to support from the Department of Justice Canada, we are collaborating with Migrant Workers Centre to offer extensive case management & case coordination services to labour exploited & trafficked persons for 2018-2020. Our staff are available onsite at Migrant Workers Centre to provide immediate access & support, alongside the legal assistance Migrant Workers Centre offers.
Living Hope: Life and Living Skills Program
In 2014, Deborah’s Gate pioneered Living Hope, a life and living skills program created specifically for survivors of human trafficking. The goal is to provide key life and living skill development so each survivor can begin living a life of hope, both for their present and their future, through practical psychosocial development. Each week, residents participate in personal development classes and activities including but not limited to healthy relationships, sleep hygiene, art therapy and fine arts, nutrition, cooking, stress and anxiety management, journaling, employment, and financial responsibility.
In 2016, Living Hope has expanded to include Refresh: Barista Employment Training Program. Refresh is a first step employment training program specialized specifically for survivors of human trafficking to begin the road towards healthy employment reintegration. Participants learn soft skills such as customer service, employment rights, understanding and preventing harassment and bullying, scheduling & time management, resume and interview skills, along with the tangible barista skills of foodsafe, WHIMIS, beverage crafting and baking. Refresh runs multiple times throughout the year and is available to all clients engaged in our programs, and gratefully partners with JJBean to provide coffee for the program along with a one week volunteer practicum to gain firsthand experience working in the foodservices industry.
Voices Raised Survivor Summit
In 2018, The Salvation Army developed & hosted the first national survivor summit, held in May of 2018 with the support of The Department of Justice Canada in honor of National Victim’s of Crime Week and in partnership with VoiceFound. Developed with a survivor co-chair & co-host committee, the event was focused on exploring using your voice after victimization, and how to be empowered to set your own boundaries & limits to encourage survivor voice using the ethical storytelling framework and prevent re-exploitation. Survivors were provided a full scholarship to attend the Summit, which included a guest speaker (survivor in recovery), human library, art therapy, trauma informed yoga, creative writing, and gourmet meals. A registered counsellor and chaplaincy services, as well as high security safety measures were available onsite to provide maximum support for survivors in attendance. We look forward to hosting our second Summit in 2019.
Contemporary Dance Residency
The Salvation Army offers a seasonal dance residency, in partnership with The City of Vancouver, providing professional contemporary dance instruction to participants as a means of physical wellness and healing for those who have been forced to erotic dance. The goal is to redeem skills that were once used for exploitation into something beautiful and dignifying for each survivor who participates
The Salvation Army has partnered with community dentists to offer free dental services to residents and outreach clients who have no access to health care including hygiene, extraction, surgical procedures, and restorative fillings
Gym & Fitness Classes
The Salvation Army, in partnership with The City of Vancouver, is pleased to provide access for survivors engaged in residential programming who have no other means to cover the cost of gym and fitness classes in the community, with the goal of full psychosocial healing, including physical, for each woman and girl entrusted to us
Tattoo Branding Removal
The Salvation Army, in partnership with a community agency, offers free tattoo removal services for those who have tattoo branding, words, or imagery on their body as a result of exploitation
Culinary Arts Program
The Salvation Army is pleased to offer seasonal opportunities for residents of our residential program to participate in Culinary Arts instruction resulting in certification from a Red Seal Chef for future work in the food and service industry
The Salvation Army partners with local and international community agencies to provide new or gently used clothing items, supplies, and toiletries to survivors to start the road of recovery, and have beautiful clothing for casual wear, as well as interviews, court appearances, and job interviews.
Trauma Informed Yoga Residency
The Salvation Army offers a seasonal trauma informed yoga residency where survivors explore regaining a sense of self, ownership of the body, and our body as a resource in our healing.
Our programs offer comprehensive, certified training for service providers, government, law enforcement, survivor advocacy groups, financial institutions, healthcare, and much more. Additionally, we support Indigenous led agencies in their leadership efforts & events, offering human trafficking education alongside their traditional teachings utilizing a de-colonizing praxis.
Using teaching models & tools developed from our extensive experience supporting this population, we offer an intersectional approach to prevention, intervention, and recovery, mobilizing the community to support survivors in trauma sensitive & responsible ways. We currently hold residencies at Police Colleges & Universities across Canada covering core modules such as human trafficking & exploitation, supporting at risk populations such as migrant workers & LGBTQ2S+ persons, understanding and supporting complex trauma, health care interventions, ethical storytelling, supporting survivors to access Civil & Criminal Justice, and much more.
Per year, we educate over 8,000 participants across Canada & North America. We appreciate the support of the Government of Canada to provide education to lesser reached regions in Interior & Northern communities. To request training, navigate to our Resources tab.
We are currently embarking on two longer term research initiatives, engaging survivors to take the lead in communicating a collective voice across Canada on issues, service access, and prevention efforts, encouraging shifts in public awareness & strategies to address human trafficking. Current projects underway, supported by the Margaret Rothweiler Foundation & The Department of Justice Canada, are looking at:
- Origins of Exploitation & Prevention Opportunities
- The Experience of Service Access
We are currently the pilot host site in Canada for a financial access project, in partnership with a large Canadian financial institution, to support survivors experiencing barriers to access financial services, build financial literacy, and develop economic independence. Further information will be shared once the pilot project is complete. We encourage you to review the project here.
External Programing And Partnerships
Deborah’s Gate has partnered with community agencies to provide additional programming including but not limited to educational upgrading, medical/optical/dental services, addiction support, mental health support, a community dance residency and fine arts development.