Many women in the downtown Eastside of Vancouver (DTES) are trapped in a lifestyle of drugs, crime and prostitution. Statistics indicate that many of these women have been abused from an early age, and most live without family support or any real sense of functional community. Many enter prostitution well before they turn 20 years of age.
To demonstrate extravagant love and to embrace these hurting women in a community that will see them for who they are – their beauty and the worthiness of their lives.
The Journey is a ministry partnership between Linwood House Ministries, Union Gospel Mission, and Salvation Army's Grace Mansion. Women travel on a voluntary basis to Linwood House for a 2-3 day retreat of both structured and unstructured activities. The schedule includes significant time for rest, nutrition, exercise and personal sharing. Activities that encourage personal exploration and expression, such as art and music, are also a focus. Lastly, the women are led through a miniature version of The Path Workshop where they are encouraged to dream, to consider the purpose of their lives and to find support as they contemplate alternatives to their current lifestyle.
The Follow Up
This retreat is merely a beginning. Because of our established presence in the Great Room in the DTES, relationships are maintained with these women and there is much opportunity for them to continue to explore what was started through one-to-one contact with Linwood, UGM, and Grace Mansion staff and community activities.
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