Rights not rescue.
All individuals have the right to self-determination, safe working conditions, and security. Stepping Stone supports the full decriminalization of sex work as the first step in addressing violence and discrimination against sex workers.
Our Drop-In is much more than a place to shower or grab a bite to eat, it is a place where sex workers can meet and form a community. Stepping Stone is much more than just an office — it’s a place to gather.
Our trained staff provide advocacy through many avenues including, but not limited to, court support, housing support, building community relationships, and promoting harm reduction.
In 1985, three sex workers, whose efforts to exit the trade were unsuccessful, were murdered. These murders drove the City of Halifax to establish the Advisory Group on Prositution and Related Issues in May of 1986.
The group examined the social complexities of prostitution and identified the need for an organization in the Maritimes that would deal specifically with the issues accompanying street-based sex work. In response to this need, the Elizabeth Fry Society started the Stepping Stone Program in November of 1987.
It was in August of 1989 that the responsibility of the Stepping Stone Program was transferred from the Elizabeth Fry Society to an independent organization, The Stepping Stone Association. The Association became registered on August 8, 1989 as Street Services for Women and Youth Association which continued to deliver street-based supports, services and outreach to sex workers. The need for supports, court support, transition support, and resources became pronounced and helped mould Stepping Stone into the organization it is today.