Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
At the heart of the Living in Community model is the bringing together of different groups who are impacted by or have an impact on sex work – current and former sex workers, support organizations, Indigenous groups, health organizations, police, business, government, community organizations. As a group, we take stock of what is happening around sex work issues in the community and in the broader societal context. We discuss our concerns and what we can do to make communities healthier and safer. We don’t always agree, but we are committed to listening and understanding the different voices around the table. And we commit to take action where there is agreement.
We know that change doesn’t happen in isolation. We engage with diverse stakeholders within our Steering Committee, and beyond. We look at the kind of change that is needed, and then reach out to the right individuals, organizations and levels of government. Our work with other stakeholders is sometimes about education around sex work issues. Other times, we engage with other stakeholders so we can better understand the problems and what solutions might be needed. In other instances, we engage in partnerships around a common goal.
Living in Community works to create platforms for better networking among diverse stakeholders. For example, we work to bring together different organizations that support sex workers, many of whom are isolated with no connections to others engaging in similar work. Our ultimate goal is to create a network of individuals, organizations and different levels of government that are committed and activiely working to destigmatize sex work, meet the unique needs of sex workers and create communities that are healthy and safe for everyone.
Although collaboration is hard work, we know that to get at the roots of social problems, it’s essential to bring together diverse and often opposing voices to really understand the problem and find effective solutions. At the heart of our work is bridging relationships between groups who usually don’t sit at the same tables - such as police and sex workers - in order to create the possibility for new ways of being together, as well as for new solutions to emerge.
We also believe that the broader community has a role to play in addressing the social issues that face our cities and towns. Everyone’s voice is important in creating solutions to the impacts of sex work and everyone can be a part of the solution in creating communities that are healthier and safer for everyone.