PEARL earns strong support from Chilliwack politicians

New agency aimed at helping sexually exploited girls and women

Joan Goosen and Tamara Brown have been working together to make PEARL Life Renewal Society a reality in Chilliwack. They are almost at their benchmark goal of $70

A new society that aims to help sexually exploited women in Chilliwack received full support from elected officials over the weekend, at their first fundraiser.

PEARL Life Renewal Society was created by clinical counsellor Joan Goosen, with the help of Tamara Brown. Together they are hoping to create an open doorway for women who are being trafficked, living on the streets, or otherwise sexually exploited. They plan to offer those women support and services, along with hope for their future.

MP Mark Strahl was among the guests for the fundraiser, and he gave special recognition about the new society on Monday while in the House of Commons.

“We heard powerful presentations on how most girls trafficked in Canada are lured into the sex trade between the ages of 12 and 14,” he said. “The most powerful story of the entire night came from Tamara, who shared her story of being sexually trafficked starting at the age of 13. After 15 years, through hard work, determination, and God’s grace, she finally broke free and is now helping others to do the same.”

The society and its volunteers is “committed to empowering girls and women who are sexually exploited, trafficked and in prostitution through support, education, and love to embrace hope and renewal,” he said.

Once PEARL has established a location, they will be offering support and access to resource options, including housing, addictions treatment, personal hygiene needs, counselling, life skills, education and job skills training and placement.

“Chilliwack is a compassionate, caring community and I know I speak for all my constituents in wishing PEARL every blessing as they start this important ministry,” Strahl added.

MLAs Laurie Throness and John Martin also attended, along with Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz.

“I was so moved by the stories told there,” said Martin. “Stories of hardship and hope, desperation and determination.”

Martin added that the society will have his full support as they move forward.

“PEARL seeks to provide compassionate support for young women in our community who need help in escaping sexual exploitation and prostitution, and moving forward in their lives,” he said. “I want to commend all those involved in creating this ministry and offer my full support as they seek grow the organization and change lives in our city.:

The event was held at Main Street Church, and they sold almost 400 tickets. One of the main speakers was Joy Smith, who spoke about human trafficking.

Goosen thanked the community for its support in a Facebook message this week, as well as the night’s other speaker, Tamara Brown.

“Thank you to Tamara for your courage in sharing your redemption story, and your family who are all a part of your journey! Your story gives us hope for the the other ‘Tamaras,’ as you mentioned, who are still being sexually exploited in Chilliwack,” Goosen wrote.

She says they are almost at their benchmark goal of raising $70,000, the amount needed for their first year of operations. They’ve now almost hit the $60,000 mark, she said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack Agriculture Tour goes virtual during pandemic

Rather than bus tourists to local farms, tour stops will be posted on Facebook and Instagram

City of Chilliwack holding annual Hazardous Waste Day in early October

The one-day event is a chance to get rid of household things like pesticides and paint cans

Child sex offender relocated from Princeton after newspaper reveals his proximity to school

Offender convicted in 2019 of charges related to sex assault and child pornography

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Chilliwack Chiefs to play home-heavy preseason slate

The BCHL team will play 11 exhibition games, only three of them on the road

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Machine pistol among 14 firearms seized from Alaska man at B.C. border crossing

Corey Scott Kettering faces charges of smuggling and prohibited firearm possession

Most Read