The “Equal Access for Sex Workers” Program, which is new to Stepping Stone as of this year, is made possible by funding from the Department of Justice. The program is based on a Recognition of Prior Learning model and will add resources intended to build skills, identify transferrable skills, and inherent individual strengths to be used both within, and upon exit from, the sex industry.

At Stepping Stone, we embody a harm-reduction model and are devoted to respecting the choices of those who engage in sex work. At the same time, we are cognizant of the significant obstacles sex workers encounter when transitioning from the trade to other employment opportunities. For this reason, our new program is designed specifically for skill development, recognition of prior learning, community education, peer-support, as well as expand existing programming for current and former sex workers.

The new project also adds opportunity for a first-voice awareness piece. It ensures and helps identify ways Stepping Stone can broaden its reach to support future, past and present program users while bridging awareness and educating the community around sex work and sex worker’s rights. Additionally, it will inform other agencies for the adoption of best practices’ in working with individuals involved in the sex trade.

Recently, we have offered a “9 Essential Skills for Employability” workshop as well as opportunities to gain certifications in First Aid and Mental Health First Aid to our program users. Coming up we have certificate classes in Non Violent Crisis Intervention and Applied Suicide Intervention. All of these classes will cumulate into providing material for a Portfolio Development class.

If you have any suggestions of classes that would be helpful, or want more information please contact either Leigh or Wanda at the Drop In Centre at (902) 420-0103.