The ladies at Dignity House are taught necessary life skills to enable them to live healthy wholesome lives. They are counseled, discipled, educated to become employable, and loved each step of the way.
We’ve been blessed with a place on Selkirk Avenue called The SPOT where we will be able to run groups for the women. One of these groups is PEARL (Prostitutes Exiting And Restoring Life). With our first run-through of this program, 8 out of 10 women graduated, with very positive feedback from the participants. Other planned groups include life skills, boundaries, group counseling, self-development, Bible studies, budgeting, arts and games. These groups will also be open to women outside of the house wanting to exit the life.
For women 18 + who need assistance in exiting commercially sexual exploited situations whether trafficked or not. We are located in Winnipeg, MB Canada. Although we mainly assist women in Manitoba we do take out of province women as well. The one who created the programing and overseeing of the ministry is a formerly sex trafficked survivor.
The PEARL Program
The PEARL (the prostituted exiting and restoring life) Program is one year long broken up into five stages of change. In the second stage home we have room to accommodate three women where their journey may begin in residence. The groups and workshops are held outside of the home at the SPOT (Selkirk’s Place of Transformation) in a confidential location. Counselling may be done there or they may be referred elsewhere depending on needs. At this place we can offer opportunities to women outside in the community and establish relationships with those who are still working in the hope to later provide assistance to leave the sex trade. We partner with community organizations who can offer the women a safe and welcoming environment to heal in the areas that each women may need. In the five stages of change in PEARL 1 we delve into recovering from the effects of having been in the sex trade starting with 16 workshops. In PEARL 2 the focus is more on emotional health, mental health, and behavioural management. In PEARL 3 We provide assistance in finding careers and/or educational opportunities with the goal of the women becoming gainfully employed, as well seeking partnerships with businesses and individuals who would provide employment opportunities. Along with that we help in the transition of finding affordable housing away from Dignity House and budgeting through 7 modules of training. All three PEARL components make up one year of programming.
PEARL 1, 2 and 3 are all done at the SPOT so that women who are not in the home can join us in the classes, workshops, and/or groups. For registrations for any or all of these one must contact us at 204-421-5818.
We feel it is beneficial to be in the neighbourhood and be close to other agencies we can partner with. We are aware of Indigenous colonization and the affects that that caused and support the Indigenous women who come into our residential program. Cultural practices are allowed, as an example, smudging can be done outside of the house and there will be opportunities to participate in other cultural activities. Each woman is individual and has different needs, which we respect. If women have needs we cannot meet, they are referred to community resources. A variety of modes of therapy, which may include interacting with animals, art and music/drama are incorporated into the healing journey. For the art therapy, we currently join the Indigenous Family Center on Selkirk for beading, and may take advantage of other opportunities that they offer.