ACF11568

Empower Women to Rebuild Their Lives - Employment Program

  • Submitted by:

    Theresa Jenkins

    Organization:

    Servants Anonymous Society of Calgary

    Location:

    Calgary, AB

  • Idea Created:

    September 29, 2011

    Budget:

    Medium ($50K - 100K)

Overview:

**You CAN change lives – please VOTE!** Women become trapped in prostitution and sexually exploitive activities for a variety of complex reasons including poverty, addictions, homelessness, and lack of employment alternatives (Department of Justice Canada 2002). Within the family population, single, female parents make up the greatest majority of those stricken by homelessness and poverty (United Way of Calgary). Supporting these women in their efforts to exit the sex trade, recover from addiction and find stable, healthy employment opportunities is among the most effective means for improving their lives to allow them to integrate back into society. **WHO WE ARE:** **Servants Anonymous Society of Calgary (SAS)** is a unique non-profit organization, operating 24 hours a day all year-round, which provides extensive long-term programs and ongoing support for women who are victims of, or are at risk of, sexual exploitation or human trafficking. Many of which have been affected by related issues including, substance addiction, homelessness, trauma and abuse, violence against women, as well as mental illness. SAS provides an opportunity for these women to adopt a healthy lifestyle and integrate back into society. We offer supported housing through to independent living, a recovery-oriented life skills classroom, job training and work experience, child care services for the Participants children while they attend class and/or job training, and follow care services and support (Career Network, post-secondary supports). SAS is one of the only programs offering long-term residential housing and recovery oriented programs to women who have children in their care, allowing them to seek help without having to place their children into the foster care system. Our programs not only focus on recovery, but also on providing the women we serve with life skills and employment training. More than an agency, SAS is above all, a community. We have over 20 years of experience providing these services, with a success rate of over 75% for the 550+ women we have served since first opening our doors. SAS participants may complete job training in a number of SAS departments including Accounting, Donor Relations, Reception, Cuddle & Care (child care), and our Social Enterprise Catering & Events business. These are women who have historically been excluded from employment in the community. In this program, they are mentored in appropriate work place behaviour and trained in resume writing and job search skills. While many women complete employment training at SAS and move on to permanent work opportunities or educational programs in the community, we have discovered there is a need for employment training material which incorporates issues related to sexual exploitation and personal development in the workforce. This would include addressing issues such as the effects of power differentials and the women’s attitudes towards authority figures as these often become barriers to sustaining employment. The implementation of a consistent, rigorous, and well-planned curriculum to support women’s employment-related learning goals, as well as a Trainer’s Guide for their supervisors (who are often not social service professionals and may not always understand or respond appropriately to their unique needs or concerning behaviours in a work environment) will allow us to achieve a significant improvement **Impact of this Project:** • Women participating in the SAS Employment Program will report a positive work-related experience. • Women participating in the SAS Employment Program will demonstrate the knowledge and behaviour necessary to obtain and maintain positive employment in the community. • 80% or more of the women completing the SAS Employment Program will move on to positive employment/education related destinations (continuing education programs, regular employment in the community, etc). • SAS Job Trainers will experience greater confidence in addressing the unique needs of SAS participants in SAS employment settings. • The learning’s and materials related to this project will be shared with interested parties in the local Calgary community and outside. • The community would benefit as women and their children would achieve healthy, stable, and sustainable lifestyles and demonstrate their capacity to be contributing, successful citizens. **By voting for Empower Women to Rebuild Their Lives, the SAS community will demonstrate their commitment to helping these vulnerable marginalized women and their children..** **Help us change lives. Vote for us today**