Pearl Life Renewal Society hosts annual fundraiser to help get Chilliwack’s women off the streets

Held on Nov. 24, money from this year’s event will be used to open a specialized recovery house

While walking down the street, one may not notice the nondescript entrance to 9242 Main Street, but for those who pass beneath the Pearl Life Renewal Society’s drop-in centre’s threshold, the beauty on the other side is exactly what’s needed.

“I wanted it to be beautiful in here so women could come here and feel valued … and know they’re loved and that there’s a way out if they choose,” said Joan Goosen, the society’s creator and executive director.

Opening its doors in November 2017, the society’s goal, Goosen says, is to provide resources, services and no-strings attached love to women who are sexually exploited, trafficked, or in prostitution.

RELATED: A hand – and hope – offered to Chilliwack’s sexually exploited girls

“I’ve long had a heart and compassion for women who are hurting,” said Goosen, who’s a clinically-trained trauma counsellor. “And I know from my own work that many of the women on the streets have dealt with trauma,” which is why she says she began the ministry in 2013.

But it’s obvious Goosen’s not the only one who’s interested in helping Chilliwack’s exploited women, as the Society is 100 per cent run through the volunteer and donation efforts of community members, who not only managed to fundraise enough to open the drop-in centre a year ago, but to also increase its hours from three days a week to five within the last month.

“Our staff and volunteers really are a great part of this ministry,” Goosen added. “So many people have donated time and resources which (has been) really awesome to see.”

But with 92 visits during the 12 days in September they were open, and new women coming in weekly, Goosen says the Pearl Renewal Society has its work cut out, and is ready to begin raising funds for the Society’s second phase.

RELATED: Chilliwack organization running on faith and donations

“We want to open a specialized recovery home for trafficked (women) and girls,” said Goosen, who emphasized that any type of forced prostitution is equal to human trafficking. To do that, however, Goosen says the Society will need to raise about $250,000 to see the operation get off the ground.

So with that in mind, on Saturday, Nov. 24, the Pearl Life Renewal Society will be hosting its third annual fundraiser and hopes to raise $100,000, which Goosen says will get them more than 50 per cent of the way to their ultimate goal.

“We’ll be celebrating a successful first year, our staff, the (women we help, and) volunteers,” said Goosen, who added that in addition to Trisha Baptie, a Vancouver Downtown Eastside (DTES) survivor, being in attendance to share her story, there will also be a dessert and silent auction.

READ MORE: PEARL earns strong support from Chilliwack politicians

Tickets to the event are $10 and can be purchased on the Society’s website, their Facebook page, or by calling the drop-in centre during open hours, which are Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m until 4 p.m.

If you’re interested in making a donation or purchasing a sponsorship package in regards to Pearl’s third annual fundraiser, please contact Joan Goosen at contact@pearlliferenewal.com, or if you would like more information about the Pearl Life Renewal Society, please visit their website at PearlLifeRenewal.com, or call 604-402-4673 (HOPE).


@SarahGawdin
Sarah.Gawdin@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Joan Goosen and Tracy Kucey sit in the Pearl Centre’s living room, where women who live on the street or who are involved in prostitution can sit, read, express themselves creatively, or rest their heads with no strings attached. (Sarah Gawdin/The Progress)

Just Posted

HATS invites Hope residents to talk about addiction in the midst of opioid overdose crisis

First talk happening Thursday, Nov. 15 at Blue Moose Coffee House

Agassiz Harrison school bus driver starts petition to get seatbelts on school buses

Petition come on the tail of Transport Canada announcement to investigate school bus data

BC Ferries passengers wait to leave Vancouver Island after Remembrance Day

Traffic aboard BC Ferries slows after Remembrance Day long weekend

Gymnastics program on a roll at Hope rec centre

“Gymnastics can make such a difference in a childs ’ development”: instructor, Chelsea Currie

Hope mental health advocate shares story and message: ‘You are not alone’

During my twenties, I was hospitalized many times for mental illness. It… Continue reading

Calgarians vote ‘no’ to bidding for 2026 Winter Games, in plebiscite

Out of 767,734 eligible voters, 304,774 voted and 171,750 said ”no.”

Olympic and Paralympic committees disappointed, but respectful of Calgary’s vote

The majority of voters said ‘no’ to a potential Calgary bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games.

Wildfire death toll rises in California as search for missing continues

Authorities reported six more fatalities from the Northern California blaze, bringing the total number of dead so far to 48.

B.C. MLAs urge Trudeau to call byelection immediately in Burnaby-South

Four NDP provincial politicians from British Columbia are urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to immediately call a byelection in the federal riding of Burnaby-South.

Provincial housing boss brought home more than $350,000 in 2017-18

BC Housing develops, manages and administers a wide range of subsidized housing options

Prince Charles turns 70 with party, new family photos

Charles is due to have tea on Wednesday with a group of people who are also turning 70 this year

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Most Read