Servants Anonymous Society of Calgary
Our Story Why We Exist
Today, I look in the mirror and I see a beautiful, confident, young, woman who loves herself, and has so much strength.
It didn’t start that way. When I first arrived in Calgary, I attended the funeral for my son’s father. This man had arranged for my release while I was held captive by a gang, where I had suffered years of unspeakable abuse while locked in a camper. He managed to negotiate my freedom. His sudden death in a motorcycle accident was devastating, and my whole grieving process (and so much more) happened with my new sisters.
One of the most important things to me was knowing that nobody knew where I was, and that I was safe. In the classroom, there was so much that needed to come out so I could heal. Not just grief for my son’s father, the remaining trauma from my experience with the gang, and all the pain that comes with years of addiction. There was also the very first monumental abuse that changed the trajectory of my life when I was 14 years old. That’s when a 29 year old drug dealer confined me, sexually assaulted me, and coerced me into smoking crystal meth. That’s how my life became about feeding an addiction.
To open up about all that with the girls and women in class was really hard. But I looked around and saw that I wasn’t the only one that was exploited. I wasn’t alone. I initially came to here because I was told they could help me get my son back after he was apprehended. I got that, and so much more. Sharing built a sisterhood between us. The love that comes from this community is unbelievable. I got my life back. They gave me my son back.
There are no words to explain the gratitude I have for this program. I am now 30 years old, and have two years of continuous sobriety.
That is the Strength of Sisterhood.
Our Impact What We Do
Our Participants are Mothers, Daughters, Sisters and Friends. They deserve the opportunity to rebuild their lives. Each of them has, or has been at risk of being sexually exploited.
SAS provides a continuum of supportive services for women and their children that are exiting from dangerous and violent situations. This can be escaping from a gang where a woman was held captive, or a woman fleeing a dangerous partner who was attempting to sell her.
Our Life-Skills Program is a comprehensive trauma-informed recovery- oriented program that ensures women and their children continue to be safe from exploitation and violence. Women are supported in their journey of recovery through peer support, a life skills curriculum, case management, trauma counseling and on-site child-care. 2-stages of safe and supportive housing are provided in our housing model.
- Graduates of the Life-Skills program then transition into the Follow-Care program. This program is an individually tailored of employment skills development through paid work experience. Women can work towards their high school completion, or a post-secondary education completion with support and financial assistance through the scholarship program.
- Additionally, we offer Cuddle & Care, an onsite child care service, which focuses on developmental activities, as well as our specialized Healthy Families program building parent-child bonding and attachment.
Mission: To provide long-term programs, ongoing support, hope and wholeness to women and girls as young as 16, with or without children, who are victims of, or at risk of, sexual exploitation or sex trafficking.
Vision: For all women who are at risk of, or who have experienced sexual exploitation; to know faith, hope and love, and be empowered to rebuild their lives. For society; to know of these women, to understand, to care.
Since our inception in 1989, SAS has helped over 750 women heal and reintegrate back into society. SAS was born when our Founder began sharing her home with young women who wished to leave the sex trade. Together, they created the ‘Corner Club'; a group of women who taught each other through cooking, making crafts, by writing and publishing their stories in Cry of the Streets, and by helping other young women at risk.
Before the onsite training opportunities were available at SAS through our social enterprise business (Fireworks Co-operative) many young women faced challenges in finding employment and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Today, the elements of our Follow-Care support and Work Experience in Fireworks Co-operative, as well as our other business units within SAS, increases each woman’s confidence and our combined efforts make a difference in this unique relationship-and-professional business setting.
Social Enterprise - Venue1008:
Venue1008, a Fireworks Co-operative, is located in trendy Inglewood and the social enterprise for SAS. This beautiful venue can accomodate over 200 people for a standing event or 140 people for a seated event. The room configuration can be changed to accommodate a small meeting. This venue is perfect for weddings, parties, film screening, or meetings.
The venue allows women to do a work placement. Here women can learn event preparation, kitchen etiquette, and problem-solving. As a graduate of the program mentioned, "Working in the kitchen gave me the opportunity to find my confidence. I learned how to work with other people while still having my own voice".
Our Programs How We Do It
SAS is an EXIT (Exit, eXploitation Intervention & Transition) program. With EXIT, women have a safe place to live when they enter the program. Women begin their recovery, by working through their trauma and addiction. The Life-Skills program allows them to have a healthier future for themselves and their children.
This is accomplished through the many support systems offered:
2-Stage Housing Support
- Immediate and safe Supportive Housing
- Second Stage transitional to independent housing
- Ensures women and their children are safe from exploitation and violence.
Recovery-Based Life Skills (6 – 18 months)
- Comprehensive trauma-informed recovery-oriented program
- Support in their journey of recovery through peer support
- Life-Skills curriculum
- Case management
- Trauma counseling
- 12 Step Recovery Program
Employment Training and Independence
Follow-Care Support provides:
- Individually tailored support
- Employment Program with paid work experience
- Education and Scholarship assistance
- Peer Group and Coach Mentorship
- Affordable housing support
- All geared to promote independence
Cuddle & Care
- On-Site Child Care Service
- Learning and Development Activities
- Healthy Nutrition for Moms and Children
Healthy Families Program
- Child/Family Development
- Specialized program to build strong families
- Parenting Skills
- Enhance parent-child bonding
- Attachment and family sustainability
Our Requests What You Can Do
- Financially: SAS relies heavily on financial contributions in order to fund our EXIT Program and provide our many resources to our Participants. If you or your business is able to make a financial contribution of any denomination, please click here to donate online now or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 403-237-8477.
- Items: We are currently accepting new or like new clothing for women and children, toys, and baby items.We are currently not accepting household items of any kind. No large Items such as furniture.
- Homes: SAS is currently in need of homes for our residential housing program. Houses can be rented to SAS or donated. This is an amazing way to give women and their children a safe place to improve their lives.
- Cars: Through Donate a Car Canada you can support Servants Anonymous Society of Calgary. All that is required is to complete the online donation form at www.donatecar.ca or call toll free 1-877-250-4904, selecting the Servants Anonymous Society of Calgary as the recipient charity. Donate a Car Canada takes care of all the necessary arrangements to pick-up and sell your car, truck, boat, or RV. They will send the proceeds from the sale to SAS and we will send you a tax receipt.
- Energy: Switch to Sponsor Energy using a simple online form allows you to make a difference for Servant Anonymous Society of Calgary today. You have the opportunity to help – just by switching from your current energy company to Sponsor Energy. This is easily done by this online form! A donation of 50% of Sponsor Energy’s profits on your electricity and natural gas usage to the Servants Anonymous Society of Calgary every month. It does not cost you any extra – in fact, they offer one of the most competitive packages in the province.
- Buying/Sellling Property: If you're thinking about buying or selling a home, simply start your journey by requesting a match with a great real estate agent through Agents of Change. Their helpful pros will learn all about your moving goals, then use their years of experience and advanced technology to select the ideal agent for you. The entire process is unbiased — and it's free. Best of all, while you're getting settled in your new home, 20% of your agent's commission will be contributed to Servants Anonymous Society – an average of about $2,000! Just imagine what those dollars can do.
The women who come to SAS with their children are grateful for volunteers; the relationships that evolve from supporting the women in their journey are truly as meaningful as the volunteer effort. SAS relies heavily on the participation of the Calgary community. Our community is diverse, with a mosaic of faith. Every one of us is committed to developing and maintaining integrity and trust in our relationships.
If you are willing and able to donate some of your time to our cause, there are a variety of ways you can help, from assisting with events to onsite administration.
All applicants are required to register in advance and attend one of our NEW Volunteer Info Sessions where we share the work that Servants Anonymous Society Calgary does to help marginalized women and their children. We describe the volunteer opportunities we have available at each session and then match your unique experience or strengths to these needs.