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Sex-workers' support van set to return

The Mobile Access Project (MAP) van will return to the streets of East Vancouver starting in September.

Since 2004, the MAP van had toured the Downtown Eastside and other neighbourhoods at night, offering street-level sex workers support, supplies and a place to warm up. Volunteers with the project also collected “bad date” reports to warn other prostitutes -- and the police -- about violent johns.

The project was cancelled in June because of a lack of money, but the B.C. Ministry of Public Safety and the federal-provincial-municipal Vancouver Agreement partnership have approved funding for the next three years, one of the charities that runs the program announced this afternoon.

"Funding provided by the Government of BC and the Vancouver Agreement partners tells women working on the streets of Vancouver that they matter," said Jeanne Legare, Chair of the WISH Board of Directors, in the press release from the organization. "It tells them that we must stand up to the violence they face and that we must do everything in our power to stop it and to protect the health and safety of all women in our communities."

For more information about the MAP project's impact on Vancouver sex workers, read Melanie Kuxdorf's article from The Hook on June 24.

Amelia Bellamy-Royds reports for The Tyee.

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