S.T.E.P. is a faith based organization and is rooted in partner relationships with other non-profits, churches, and faith organizations.
S.T.E.P. was founded in partnership woth Pioneers Canada by Derek and Tiffani Parenteau, who have worked with people involved in the sex trade in Toronto since 2004. In 2009, Chris and Tara McPherson joined the ministry in partneship with the Toronto Based non-profit Project417.
Our approach at S.T.E.P. is to focus on individuals with their own unique needs and stories. Starting from first contact, we customize the support that we offer based on the needs and perspective of the community member.
At S.T.E.P. we journey with each community member through the entire process of exiting the sex trade, attempting to provide holistic support through the four major components of our ministry.
S.T.E.P. meets new people and develops trusting relationships through street outreach, holding events, accepting referrals, and by networking with the peers of our existing clients.
Often the bridge between outreach and meaningful
long-term ministry with an individual is a time of crisis. The crisis could involved being assaulted, being hositalized, the loss of a loved one, being arrested, etc. S.T.E.P. missionaries are on call to respond to these needs and provide support.
Getting out of the sex trade often means addressing issues such as physical and mental health, addictions, housing, employment, and abusive relationships. S.T.E.P. journeys with our community members through each step of this process.
Many of the people that S.T.E.P. supports become parents while they are still involved in sex work. S.T.E.P. helps to provide for the basic needs of the parents and children, teaches parenting skills, and provides labour coaching.
Did you know
Most girls who enter sex work turn their first trick at 13 or 14 years ol
10,000-30,000 youth are currently estimated to live in poverty in Toronto.
Many involved in sex work develop a dependency on drugs to cope with the suffering that results from being sexually exploited; they do not begin sex work to support an existing habit.
82% of women working in sex work experience physical violence.
71% of women working in sex work are raped.
75% of people working in the sex work have attempted suicide at least once.
The sex trade you see on the streeet is only about 10% of the sex trade, most of it occurs indoors, massage parlors, brothels, etc.
How To Help
As a faith based organization, we have a team committed to regular prayer on our behalf who recieve our more frequent short email updates. To be added to our list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Each S.T.E.P. worker fundraises their own compension. We rely entirely on donations for all of our programs and expense. Donations can be sent to:
I Dundas Street West
We are in constant need of everyday items such as baby supplies, outreach bags, coffee, baked goods and gift cards to groceries stores and coffee shops. You can partner with us by helping meet some of these physical needs.