Still in development, the recently announced project will house up to seven female residents, ages 16-24, who are victims of sex trafficking. Covenant House estimates that dozens of their young people, mostly women, have been exploited through trafficking. They also estimate that about 1,000 of the youth they work with annually are involved in the sex trade, mostly engaging in survival sex.
The program is a partnership between Covenant House Toronto, The Rotary Club of Toronto’s Women’s Initiatives Committee, Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) and the City of Toronto. A TCHC property will be leased to Covenant House for a 15-year period at a minimal cost. The City of Toronto will provide capital funding for repairs and renovations, while CHT will fund ongoing maintenance, as well as operating costs.
Residents will be allowed to stay for up to two years and will receive a range of supports, including educational and vocational, life skills training, trauma and addiction counselling and free legal assistance.