Drop-in centre ramps up services with cash influx following inquiry report

Associated Press

VANCOUVER - The executive director of a drop-in centre for sex-trade workers on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside says they're making plans and getting advice after a cash windfall resulted from the inquiry into missing women.

Kate Gibson says WISH will go from being open 18 hours a day, up from the six hours it is currently open.

That means more meals, new overnight beds, more staff and more visitors, the result of the government's decision to give WISH an extra $750,000 per year to fulfil a key recommendation in the inquiry report.

Gibson says workers at the centre will be asking for guidance from other groups with experience providing such services as well as consulting with the women who visit the centre.

Wally Oppal, who chaired the missing women inquiry, says it money will go a long way to providing women the kind of security the victims of serial killer Robert Pickton never had.

Several of Pickton's victims used WISH's services, but the charity has always struggled to find funding.

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