Anybody is free to stand in public spaces, i.e. in front of businesses, bus stops or anywhere on the sidewalk. While sex work is not illegal, if you have concerns that your home or business is being impacted, there are things you can do.
- If you see someone in distress don’t be afraid to ask if they are okay or call someone for help.
- If you feel comfortable, you can offer resource information to sex workers like the SAFE Pocket Guide – Information for Sex Workers.
- Leave outside lights on. Lights discourage crime and make the area safer for everyone.
Sex workers often feel threatened and may be scared of you too. They are usually agreeable to moving when they understand there is a concern and are approached politely.
- Acknowledge the sex worker’s presence
- Be respectful
- Explain your concerns
- Politely ask them to find a different place to stand
Everyone deserves to feel safe.
Just as you, your family, employees and/or patrons need to feel safe, so do sex workers.
Everyone plays a role in supporting community safety. Certain types of crime such as property crime or vandalism usually occur where or when there are few (if any) witnesses. Sex workers can be a presence when no one else is around.
If you have a non-emergency concern, you can call:
Collingwood Community Policing Centre: 604-717-2935
Vancouver 3-1-1: For info and requests on city services such as mattress and garbage removal.
Needle Pickup Hotline: 604-657-6561
Sex worker organizations may already know the sex worker and be able to speak with them, if you are uncomfortable doing so.
PACE Society: 604-872-7651
PACE is a sex worker led and driven organization offering low-barrier programming, support and safe respite for survival sex workers.
Collingwood Business Improvement Association: 604-639-4403
Supports healthy business development and community events in Collingwood
Collingwood Neighbourhood House: 604-435-0323
Social and recreational activities for all residents, welcoming and inclusive to everyone.
Evergreen Community Health Centre: 604-872-2511
Public healthcare services like primary care, addictions, mental health, parenting groups, and home care.
Needle Pick-up Hotline: 604-657-6561
City Mattress Removal: 604-326-4719