YWCA Halifax’s advocacy work is grounded in feminist practice, and strives to address the root causes of poverty and inequality through evidence-based research, policy development and training opportunities. We recognize the importance of systemic change to eliminate inequality in our society, and are committed to that end in our advocacy work.
Currently, we are engaged in a number of initiatives with the purpose of bringing about systemic change for women who are marginalized by poverty and traumatized by violence, particularly in regards to housing and human trafficking.
Home For Good
January 2019 – January 2020 (Status of Women Canada Funded Project)
A three-year research and systems change initiative with the goal of centring women’s voices in policy and program design to reduce the barriers they face accessing safe and affordable housing.
In partnership with Alice House, Elizabeth Fry Society of Mainland Nova Scotia and The Marguerite Centre.
Nova Scotia Trafficking Elimination Partnership (NSTEP)
April 2016 – March 2021 (Canadian Women’s Foundation, Nova Scotia Advisory on the Status of Women Funded Project)
YWCA Halifax is engaging with provincial partners to lead an inter-jurisdictional coalition to prevent and eliminate the trafficking and sexual exploitation of primarily young women in Nova Scotia.
- Address the needs related to the prevention of sex-trafficking, appropriate intervention, and aftercare.
- Enable key stakeholders to collaborate and meet the long-term goal of prevention and effective intervention by increasing capacity to address service needs and prevent and respond to sex trafficking.
- Work to build understanding, identify gaps in services, develop a coordinated system of response and mobilize to fill gaps in services, to establish sustainable program approaches for mental health services, advocacy and awareness, and policy development.
March 2016 – March 2019 (Public Safety Canada, NS Department of Justice Funded Project)
Despite a recognized need, there are presently no emergency housing protocols for victims of human trafficking. In addition, law enforcement, staff at local shelters, transition houses, youth and sex work serving agencies and health care professionals, have identified contact with trafficked youth and individuals, however a lack of training, resources, policies and supports to respond in a meaningful manner. Similarly, there are no screening tools or data collection occurring.
The goals of Safe Landing are:
- To consult with marginalized communities and persons with lived experience of the sex trade to inform policies and practice.
- To faciliate housing opportunities that provide safe, supportive housing for victims of trafficking which meet their particular needs and address complex trauma.
- To develop resource materials, share knowledge through training and build capacity regionally and nationally to replicate similar programs.
Nova Scotia Transition and Advocacy for Youth (NSTAY)
Funded by the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services
Nova Scotia Transition and Advocacy for Youth (NSTAY) is a program which provides exploited/trafficked youth with wraparound support and connects them with the services they need. NSTAY has been developed with a trauma-informed lens and takes a harm-reduction approach. It is a non-judgmental program and incorporates promising practices from across Canada and is informed by those with experience of exploitation within the sex trade.