Our response to human suffering is innovation. As there is limited work in human trafficking in Canada, we undertake considerable development to create what doesn’t exist, to be inclusive of Survivor voice, and specialized to see best outcomes.
The Salvation Army Illuminate has pioneered the “Freedom Model”, a one of a kind, trauma sensitive case management model designed to be inclusive of survivor voice while working towards goals that are personalized and oriented towards healing from the inside out. We teach this model externally, and utilize it in all our direct services, inclusive of modalities such as;
- Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
- Trauma Specific Practice
- Decolonizing Praxis
- Psychosocial Rehabilitation
- Person-Environment-Occupation Model
We believe that after exploitation, an extraordinary life is waiting for Survivors. Our programs are designed to support intervention, tangible strategies to exit, collaboration with others, interdependence development, and building back human capacity. We avoid Savior or rescuing approaches, and instead act as coaches, guides, and facilitators to support Survivors to walk in healing, resilience, and hope.
We seek to raise up Survivor voices, but ensure they do not experience exploitation through the process. The following Survivor experiences are shared with permission, utilizing ethical storytelling principles.
“As a labour trafficking survivor, I want to tell other survivors that they can all join in the fight against human trafficking if they don’t stay silent. I want them to feel there is a hope, and they are no longer alone. They just need to believe in themselves. We all deserve a life of dignity and respect. We are not merchandise, or anyone’s property. To everyone hearing my voice, I survived, and you will survive. The world is waiting for us to explore and make a difference.”
“For me, as a survivor, I struggled with addiction coming out of exploitation. The root is often pain and suffering you haven’t dealt with. The traumas you have suffered. You haven’t developed the tools in the toolbox to help release those tensions. Instead of fight, flight, or freeze, you are in all three. It’s not that you don’t want sobriety or healing. If you’ve been in addiction for multiple months/years, it’s hard to just quit. If you don’t get to the root of the pain, you will continue to use substances and you’ll keep going around in circles. Substances help in exploitation, as it takes you to a different part of yourself – you lose yourself. When you pull yourself out and finally make the call to The Salvation Army, you will learn to find the real you, the true you, that is loved and beautiful, strong, and courageous. Even though you have been through trauma, you deserve the very best, and I believe God has a purpose for you.”
“To find my authentic self means building a life that is mine and completely mine. With my experience in exploitation I often felt I had to look and be a certain way. When removed from that environment and accessing supportive programming at The Salvation Army, I realized so much about myself. A lot of what was ingrained in my character was to survive. With no longer needing those survival skills I am able to consistently discover deeper layers within myself. A new life full of interests, hobbies, and my own identity. A new value system built on integrity.”
Our Direct Services
All services are free, offered to all genders unless specified below, and can be accessed through one central phone line, found here.
New Hope Outreach Services & Second Stage Housing
Our crisis responsive and long term community based outreach support for any trafficked persons in Canada. Additionally, we offer second stage housing subsidies for Survivors unable to access housing programs as a result of their trafficking experience to support growth, interdependence, and community integration.
Deborah’s Gate Live In Safe House
A high security safe house and live in program for female presenting Survivors age 16 and up, offering stays up to 9 months. Survivors have access to full time programming customized to their needs, individual bedrooms, registered clinical therapy, and beautiful safe learning spaces to begin the road of healing.
Living Hope Life & Living Skills Program
Providing specialized online and in person education, activities, and events that strengthen and enrich activities of daily living, employment, education, volunteering, and social development.
Renew Mental Health & Addictions Program
The first of its kind in North America, this full time, part time, and online program offers best practice treatment programming focusing on trauma, addictions, and mental health, in an exciting, specialized, and multi-modal delivery.
Specialized Service Partnerships
In addition to our programs, we also offer specialized services for Survivors, including;
- Tattoo Branding Removal
- Gym & Fitness access
- Art, pet, light, eco, and equine therapy
- Registered Clinical Counselling
- Free of cost dental services
- Flights to and from our programs across Canada
- Rehabilitative dance & yoga residency
- Employment opportunities
- Indigenous mentoring
We are also developing brand new, long term initiatives that will be implemented in the next 2-3 years.
The Spark Service Provider Education & Training
Registered curriculum designed to support service providers, law enforcement, and community members to identify, respond, and support Survivors of human trafficking, as well as ethics of practice. To request consultation services for program development, email us at email@example.com
United Nations Financial Access Project
We are the host site of multiple national financial access projects in partnership with major financial institutions to give equitable access for Survivors of trafficking to develop economic independence and financial viability for their future, in partnership with the United Nations Finance Against Modern Slavery Initiative. Read more here
SHIFT Survivor-Led Research
We conduct research to learn and respond to the unique complexities of this issue in Canada, with Survivor leaders engaged in development & evaluation
Voices Raised Survivor Summit
Annually, we host a Survivor Summit focused on healing, development, personal growth, rebuilding lives after exploitation, and celebrating resilience. Full scholarships are offered for Survivors to participate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there costs for your services?
The Salvation Army fundraises to cover the cost of all programs so Survivors can access free of cost. Where available, our training is offered free of cost, although an honoraria for our time and materials is appreciated.
How do I make a referral?
See our connect section on this site, found here
Do you have waitlists?
Depending on the program you are seeking to access, we often do have waitlists, however we encourage referrals as we process intakes to programs quickly once space is available.
Do all of your clients live with you?
The majority of survivors we work with do not reside with us, and we value our hundreds of national partners to assist trafficked persons to access supports needed. The largest need we have identified is outreach and community based services, paired with safe housing and second stage apartments.
Do your programs have religious requirements?
All of our programs have no religious requirements. Our staff and clients are diverse in background and experience. Should survivors want to pursue spiritual supports, every effort will be made to assist them to connect in community as per their leading and preferences, but it is not a requirement.
Do survivors who engage with your programs have to access law enforcement?
Survivors who are seeking to exit exploitation through our programs are not required to access law enforcement. However, our staff will follow duty to report requirements for clients in high risk circumstances, or should that risk put our programs or staff at risk of harm. Risk mitigation and establishing safety is paramount for survivors of human trafficking, and law enforcement often supports survivors as a part of their case planning to begin the road of healing.
How can we support your programs? Do you accept volunteers?
Individuals are encouraged to review the GIVE page of our website for ways to tangibly support our work. All financial donations over $10.00 will receive a tax receipt. We have limited opportunities to volunteer due to the confidentiality requirements of our programs, but we encourage skilled applicants to send a resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
Where are your physical locations?
Our program locations are kept confidential. Survivors can access in person, by phone, online, or through digital service offerings by contacting us. We do not permit public tours to protect the safety of those we support.