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

Fraser Valley Regional Library branches offer curbside pick up

After two and a half months of being closed, people can once again check books out of the library

Thousands without power after semi collides with power pole in Chilliwack

The collision happened at Prest and First and now 3,600-plus customers are without power

Additions at Chilliwack schools may eventually replace portables

District’s capital plan illustrates which schools need to expand as community grows

Pedestrian struck in late-night collision on Highway 1 in Hope

RCMP were on scene at the incident near Flood Hope Road where traffic was rerouted for eight hours

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

B.C.’s police watchdog probing death of Richmond man in alleged shoplifting incident

Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is asking any witnesses to come forward

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

Aldergrove zoo to reopen with staff in masks, one-directional visitor experience to tackle COVID-19

Its June 1 reopening will be ushered in by words from Darryl Plecas, Legislative assembly Speaker

Most Read