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Vancity financing helps sex workers’ support group

PEERS Victoria Resource Society

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“I don’t like the phrase ‘think outside the box’ because it’s cliché, but I think Vancity was doing so even before it became a cliché.”
- Jody Paterson, PEERS Victoria Resource Society

PEERS Victoria Resource Society, which provides support and services for vulnerable sex workers, has often struggled to maintain its services in the gaps between the grants that largely keep it afloat. Seeing the need for steady and reliable financing, Vancity stepped in with a line of credit to cover the lulls in financing. Vancity also assumed the Society's existing mortgage with another financial institution and gave the organization a better rate, allowing more funds to go toward the Society's vital services.

Sex workers depend on PEERS for help finding affordable housing, in-house access to a female doctor, advice and information about how to work more safely, and a nightly outreach centre on Victoria's outdoor sex worker stroll. The Society also provides a six-month program designed for those wanting to transition from sex work to mainstream employment or education. With the line of credit and more favourable mortgage now in place, PEERS' essential work in one of society's most marginalized and stigmatized communities can continue with a new sense of security.


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