Canada’s first shelter exclusively for sex workers opened its doors on Monday in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

The temporary shelter, run by WISH, a support organization for women and gender diverse folks in the street-based sex trade, operates 24/7 and offers on-site laundry, washrooms, hot showers, a lounging area, and 23 beds, three of which are reserved for COVID-related isolation.

The new shelter also shares a backlot with WISH’s long standing drop-in centre, where clients can meet with nurse practitioners and access meals, among other programs. A safe respite site is also available.

WISH executive director Mebrat Beyene told VICE News the organization had been hoping to unveil a permanent shelter for sex workers, but the pandemic changed their plans. Instead, WISH opened a temporary emergency shelter, in partnership with BC Housing and the city, with plans to renew it in a year.

Read the Full Article Here: VICE: Canada Just Opened Its First Shelter Exclusively for Sex Workers by Anya Zoledziowski