On April 7th, over 30 community members joined CERA and mural artists at All Saints Church and Community Centre to view murals created by sex workers at recent housing rights workshops in downtown Toronto. Attendees took part in discussions about housing discrimination issues, received information resources about housing discrimination, and shared a community lunch. We heard:
Making the murals “allowed me and participants to illustrate what a city of inclusion means to them.”
“Knowing your rights in empowering. “
“I will share resources with people in my community.”
Thank you to everyone who attended, to all of the mural makers, to South Riverdale Community Health Centre, Regent Park Community Health Centre, and Maggie’s Sex Workers Action Project. And a big thank you to All Saints Church for hosting us.
Out of respect for the privacy of the mural makers, we are not posting event photos online.
Thank you to the Law Foundation of Ontario for financial support of this initiative.
Making Room, Creating Place: Announcing arts-based human rights legal education for sex workers.
This Wednesday, CERA will be joining Maggie’s Sex Workers Action Project for our first housing rights workshop for street-involved sex workers. During these workshops, participants will learn about their housing rights under law; learn skills to self-advocate; creatively engage with artistic message-making strategies.
We are excited to be working the wonderful folks at Maggie’s, South Riverdale Community Health Centre, and Regent Park Community Health Centre. And we’re excited to learn from participants about their experiences.
We know that sex workers face intersectional discrimination all the time, along with significant and distinct barriers to housing. In a survey of 34 sex workers, we heard that:
- 61% (of 24 responses) have faced discrimination from a landlord
- 34% face unaffordable rents
- 67% have ongoing issues with pests
- 56% have faced eviction
- 47% have been denied a unit because of their income source
- Most respondents said they feel landlords treat them differently for reasons related to their work.
In six sessions over the coming weeks we will be discussing these issues and thinking creatively about self-advocacy. Stay tuned for updates!
Thank you for support from: