Classification: Off Campus
Closing Date: Dec 31, 2039
Time Commitment: Minimum 6 months, 3 shifts per day: AM - 8:30-11:30am; Prep - 3:00-7:00pm; PM - 5:30-9:30pm
Location: Vancouver

WISH Drop-In Centre Society


Number of positions: 100


Our mission is to improve the health, safety and well-being of women who are involved in Vancouver’s street-based sex trade. Our vision is for every woman to have access to opportunities to make free, healthy and positive choices. Women who engage in sex work are some of the most marginalized and vulnerable women in our society. Those who engage in street-based sex work are even more at risk of social stigma, violence and health crises.

WISH Drop-In Centre Society provides support to women who work in the street-based sex trade—60 percent of whom are homeless, and half of whom are Indigenous. All live in poverty.

In the face of this trauma, women who are often denied both their basic needs, as well as a sense of dignity and self-worth can take advantage of the wide range of services and support that WISH offers. Women can come to our nightly Drop-In Centre 365 days per year, and find a safe place to rest, have a hot meal, shower and connect with community. We check the safety of women working on the streets, and offer harm reduction supplies, through our Mobile Access Project (MAP) Van which drives across the city every night. Women also have access to far-reaching opportunities designed to enable longer-term support, such as our Learning Centre, Supportive Employment Program and Music Therapy Program.

Women in the WISH community—while they face incredible challenges— are resilient, intelligent and strong. They survive, create and care for each other in a society that routinely denies them a voice and discounts their humanity.

In a place of compassion and trust and without judgement—a place where all women are valued—sex workers can begin to make healthier, more positive choices to enhance the quality of their lives. WISH is such a place.

Position Title: Drop-In Volunteer

Position Description:

Our self-identified women Drop-In Volunteers, 19 years of age and over, perform a variety of tasks including, but not limited to helping to serve and prepare a hot, nutritious meal; sorting and dispensing clothing, make-up and toiletries donations; helping women sign up for showers and access shelters, some light janitorial duties, and of course, the opportunity to connect one-on-one with the women who access the Drop-In.

We ask for a minimum of two shifts per month, for a long-term commitment of at least six months. All volunteer shifts run from 5:30-9:30pm, 8:30-11:30am, and kitchen prep 3:00-7:00pm. The Drop-In is open seven days a week.

We require all prospective volunteers to attend an orientation, along with completing three buddy shifts, before beginning their volunteer experience with us. After any of these, you are in no way obligated to continue volunteering.  We also require our volunteers to do one of their two shifts on a Friday or Saturday, along with one shift from Sunday to Thursday.

We would also like to note that volunteering for the purpose of gaining research or information for projects is not allowed. WISH is not in the habit of permitting any access to the women who come to WISH. We expect volunteers to be there because they want to contribute to the well-being of women who face various systemic barriers and marginalization in society.

Our orientations generally take place on the 3rd or 4th Thursday of each month at 5:15pm, and are roughly 1.5 hours in length.

To sign up for the next available volunteer orientation, access our Volunteer Application Form online by clicking this link.

Required Skills and Experience:

Training is done at WISH. We provide an orientation, which includes a tour of the Drop-In space, as well as three training ("buddy") shifts. We train in the Kitchen, our Makeup room, and our Clothing room.

Familiarity with Downtown Eastside is an asset.

Experience in front-line and/or harm-reduction environments is an asset.

Must be LGBTQIA2S+ inclusive. We value the humanity of trans folk. Hate speech, including transphobia, is not tolerated.

Benefits and Recognition:

Opportunity to meet new people; to learn about different cultures, including queer and Indigenous cultures; to learn about the Downtown Eastside and the myths and realities; to learn the myths and facts about sex work.

This is a unique opportunity to work in an authentic, honest, down-to-earth environment where we emphasize acceptance, caring, dignity, and respect, and espouse the agency of marginalized women to make positive, educated, informed choices about their health and well-being.

Contact: To sign up for the next available volunteer orientation, access our Volunteer Application Form online by clicking this link.