About Living in Community
Background: What is "Living in Community?"
Starting in the fall of 2017, a community partnership has been emerging focused on sex work in St. John's. Modeled on (and mentored by) a well-established program of the same name in Vancouver, Living in Community St. John's has a vision of respectful communities of health, safety and belonging for everyone in relation to sex work and victims of youth sexual exploitation. Sex work has always been part of our community, but true dialogue about it has been hard to come by. That is slowly but surely starting to change with the formation of a steering committee, facilitated by the nonprofit organization Happy City St. John's, that brings together the voices of sex workers, residents, businesses, front-line community organizations, government, and law enforcement in a facilitated process aimed at creating safer communities for all.
PS: These conversations also often get tangled up in definitions and terms - there will be a a good explanation of language and terms from a sex-worker perspective on the upcoming Living in Community Website and you can read more about the Vancouver process at http://livingincommunity.ca/
Since the fall, this committee has been meeting about once a month to identify issues and solutions at the neighbourhood level. To create a safe space for very difficult conversations these meetings are closed-door, but now that the process is well established, expect to hear regular updates in formats like this. It is important to note, here, that this is a city-wide process. A lot of the conversation around sex work in St. John's (and at the Living in Community table) focuses on the street-based sex trade; this is the most visible part of the industry, and is also where many of the concerns emerge, both for the safety of vulnerable workers and people involved, and residents of neighbourhoods in which it is concentrated. That said, the goal of the Living in Community process is to make the whole city a safer place for all.
Staying in Touch:
If you have an idea to share, or just want to be added to the email list for future updates, send a quick email to
From Living In Community Vancouver:
Living in Community (LIC) is an innovative community initiative that works to find solutions to the impact of sex work and youth sexual exploitation on communities and to reduce the harms and isolation that sex workers experience.
LIC recognizes that systemic change only happens when groups work collaboratively – little is achieved when people work in opposition to one another. That’s why our work is directed by a diverse group of representatives such as: residents, neighbourhood houses, business associations, law enforcement, government, health, non-profit organizations and sex workers.
Recognizing that sex workers are members of our community, our vision is to create communities that are healthier and safer for everyone in relation to sex work and youth sexual exploitation.
Living in community is available on a contract basis for consulting across Canada. Please contact us for a quote at
This video shares the development of the Living in Community model and the accomplishments of Living in Community over the past 10 years in Vancouver and beyond.