An estimated 63% of female youth living on the street have been asked to participate in prostitution.
In Alberta the Child Welfare legislation was amended in 1997 to classify the hiring of prostitutes under the age of 18 as child abuse.
The United Way of Calgary and Area defines vulnerable youth as being on a spectrum. At one end of the spectrum are youth who are becoming disengaged from school and community life, experimenting with risky behaviours, lacking supports and supervision, and/or whose basic needs are not always being met. At the other end are youth living on the margins, including young people who are incarcerated and disaffected “street youth” who survive through illicit activities such as gangs, prostitution and drug trafficking.
In the Calgary Homeless Foundation’s Youth Plan, it is suggested that sexual exploitation is a major problem that youth experiencing homelessness deal with, as 13% of males and 45% of females are recorded as being forced into the sex trade (prostitution). On top of that, approximately 56% of the young people surveyed about sexual exploitation stated that they were forced into the sex trade between the ages of 13-16.
We offer a continuum of services available to youth who have been sexually exploited. There are very few other programs in Canada similar to those offered by BGCC for these youth.
Through the holistic treatment at Grimmon House, 25 girls a year from across Alberta are supported in their recovery from sexual exploitation.
97% of our youth in residential and community-based care report they are feeling more hopeful about their future.
- 17 girls who were at risk of or involved in sexual exploitation attended the Hera program in 2016
- 93% of girls decreased their involvement in high-risk activities through the support of our Hera therapeutic program
- 6 youth who were at risk of or involved in sexual exploitation were safely housed in Eleanor’s House
- 100% of Eleanor’s House youth reported that they felt more hopeful about their future
- 83% of Eleanor’s House youth showed an increase positive behaviour and in their ability to make healthy choices
- 26 girls lived at Grimmon House, our residential recovery program for girls at risk of or involved in sexual exploitation
- 100% of girls at Grimmon House demonstrated a decreased involvement in risk behaviours
- “Grimmon staff helped me most with…feeling safe and being completely honest with myself and others.” (2016 youth comment)
Calgary Homeless Foundation
Plan to End Youth Homelessness