Laura was 14 when she was put in foster care. Her family home was no longer a safe place for her due to physical and sexual abuse. After being moved through several foster homes, Laura began working the streets of Prince George at the age of 17. She began using drugs to numb the pain and to cope with her feelings of hopelessness.

New Hope Society, which receives support from United Way, is the only drop-in-centre in Prince George where individuals in the sex trade, like Laura, receive support and one-to-one counselling. New Hope’s Program Coordinator, Jan Wilson, runs weekly workshops on life about addictions, life skills, job skills and how to stay safe and healthy. “Most of the women we work with have been involved with the foster care system, and have not had good experiences. There is a lot of shame about their addiction, about their work, about their past. Sometimes it takes years before they can open up and talk,” Jan said.

Laura is one of over 400 women who receive support services every month at New Hope Society. She has learned how self-esteem impacts addiction, how to break the cycle of domestic violence, and how to find a job. New Hope has given Laura a safe, secure place to express her feelings and emotions. a place to be heard and loved, just for being alive.

New Hope Society helps women choose healthier lifestyles by providing support, advocacy and teaching them the value of their own self-worth. Your donations to United Way help make this happen.