Our Why

The Problem

Human trafficking sounds like a far away problem that couldn’t happen in Canada. Yet it is occurring in our own backyard at alarming rates, affecting thousands of Canadians each year. Whether it be for the purposes of sex, labour, or even organs and tissues, human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery, and its existence threatens the human rights and liberty of all. Read more about it here.

Did you know?

Some of the very first work of The Salvation Army in 1880 was to support trafficked persons through schools, missions, and even safe factories to work in. This is not a fad for us, it’s in our DNA and we carry forward this legacy today. We are committed to changing the script of this story, throughout the world, and in Canada, and we invite you to join us.

Our Mission & Vision

We boldly disrupt the cycles of human trafficking by illuminating public awareness through education, providing relentless intervention strategies, creating safe spaces for Survivors to heal, and establishing networks that build back extraordinary lives for those affected in Canada.

We defend and uphold the freedom and intrinsic value of all human beings to end human trafficking and transform our world.

Timeline of Transformation

  • 1880

    The Salvation Army opened missions, schools, and factories to support trafficked and exploited persons to heal, recover, and access equitable employment.

  • 2005

    We conducted a national needs assessment to determine the scope of trafficking in Canada and where we could be of most assistance.
  • 2009

    We opened our first program- the only high security safe house in Canada for Survivors, our Deborah’s Gate Live In Program. We developed world class curriculum now taught in police colleges, universities, schools, and for service providers.

  • 2013

    We started an outreach service to support Survivors outside of program walls, and an education program to train service providers throughout Canada on the issue. We also started a Survivor council to inform & be an active part of our program development.

  • 2014

    We launched life and living skills programs, fine arts, pet therapy, employment training, and other specialized programming to support healing & recovery.
  • 2017

    We developed and launched the very first Mental Health & Addictions Program for Survivors of human trafficking, which is now considered a North American best practice.
  • 2018

    We launched online programming, expanding our reach to Survivors across Canada in remote & hard to reach places.

    We hosted the first ever Survivor Summit, called Voices Raised, led by Survivors for Survivors to encourage leadership, development, and personal growth.

  • 2019

    We championed the United Nations Finance Against Modern Day Slavery Initiative for Canada, and the Slack For Good Employment Equity Initiative.

  • 2020

    We supported 1,200 Survivors annually coast to coast in Canada both in our live in, online, and outreach based programs, and have over 800 partnerships with agencies and organizations. We annually train over 3,000 service providers.

  • 2021

    We launched the very first Survivor Development Centre, called Propel, available for Survivors across Canada digitally and in person.

Our Commitments

We commit to be programs & initiatives of innovation, trailblazing this work in Canada as a hub of transformation.

We’re fearless in advocating, building bridges, & challenging beliefs for new approaches to end all forms human trafficking.

We commit to partnership & collaboration, rejecting superstar behaviors, to ensure that our work is serving the whole of Canada, including developing other initiatives and investing in our partner’s projects.

We commit to raising high standards to protect and support Survivors, and are willing to challenge approaches and behaviors internally and externally that may be harmful.

We commit that our work is not to create a business of suffering, but to end human trafficking in Canada.

We commit to equitable distribution with our resources for those who have experienced all forms of exploitation and trafficking.

We commit to finding a way to support the most complex and challenging dynamics in Survivor’s lives, saying yes more than we say no.

We commit to finding ways to work with those that are along the varying points of the exiting timeline, even if they are not at full readiness, as we see early intervention as a priority.

We commit to believing that no matter how brutal the experience and abuse, everything in a Survivor’s life can be redeemed, renewed and restored.

We commit to create paths to redeem skills used for exploitation as instruments of healing in recovery.

We support Survivors to live beyond programs into full autonomy, empowering independence & joy for what is to come. We reject rescuing or co-dependent approaches.

We create opportunities to build extraordinary lives outside of exploitation, believing Survivors can thrive and become world changers.