About SAFE

SAFE in Collingwood is a neighbourhood-based project that is working to improve the health and safety of sex workers, businesses and residents.  We are bringing together diverse groups in the neighborhood to identify concerns, learn about sex work issues, and take steps to produce tangible and collaborative solutions.

Learn more about SAFE in Collingwood:


A bit of history….

The history of SAFE starts with the citywide “Living in Community” (LIC) initiative, which began in 2004 to respond to community concerns about the impacts of sex work and sexual exploitation in Vancouver. Businesses, sex workers, local residents, community organizations, police and government worked together for three years to reach agreement on an innovative approach to addressing these concerns. The approach was tested through an extensive public engagement process with World Café dialogues, focus groups and online surveys to solicit feedback and ideas from a wide diversity of stakeholders throughout the City. This culminated in a public meeting attended by over 200 people where a final report with recommendations and a toolkit for how to deal with sex work issues were presented. The Living in Community Action Plan, Balancing Perspectives on Vancouver’s Sex Industry, was published in June 2007. See the full LIC Action Plan here.

Recognizing the need to move these recommendations and toolkits forward into concrete action, in 2009 Living in Community secured funding through the Vancouver Agreement to support a local demonstration project in one Vancouver neighborhood.

Because of the active sex trade in this area, as well as the strong community development approach and collaborative networks between its local agencies, Collingwood was chosen as the successful demonstration project site.  A steering committee was formed with broad representation from local organizations, businesses, residents, schools, sex workers, sex worker organizations and government. This team named the project “SAFE in Collingwood” which stands for Sex work Awareness For Everyone, with the goal of creating a community that is safer for all community members in relation to the issues of sex work and sexual exploitation.