I'm the director of Crystal Kids Youth Centre, a 20 year old charity that works with Edmonton’s most vulnerable youth. I have worked with countless young women who have been at risk of being recruited into the sex trade. In fact my staff and I have actually stopped the recruitment of several underage girls who were being groomed to work in body rub (massage parlours) and the sex trade.
Now, we're fighting against a body rub parlor from moving in two doors down, just 10 meters away from our youth centre. It would be unconscionable to allow this parlor to move in next to a centre for youth vulnerable to the sex trade. This could erase years of work our staff have put in mentoring these children to make healthy lifestyle choices. We are also concerned that clients looking to purchase sexual services at the parlor will pose an even more dangerous threat of soliciting our youth and staff.
In just a couple weeks the Edmonton Subdivision and Development Appeal Board will be asked to grant a development permit for a Personal Service Shop allowing the owner to open a body rub parlour. We'll be attending that meeting and presenting this petition.
Others on 118th avenue are concerned as well. The Avenue Vineyard Community Church continues to make a conscious effort to love and serve our community. The church community includes many children (a number of which would be considered at risk), recovering addicts and some women intentionally trying to exit the street lifestyle.
In this regard, the possibility of a Body Rub Parlour being located two doors down from where we meet is an enormous concern for the members of the Community Church also. The church purposely strives to cultivate a safe place for people to meet and grow spiritually. In no way does a Body Rub Parlour bring beauty or life to this struggling community – it simply compounds the risks for vulnerable community members.
The purpose of this campaign is to show the Edmonton Subdivision & Development Appeal Board that the social risks of this permit to the community are much too high,
If you support this cause, PLEASE sign our petition (which will also send your individual support to the Subdivision & Development Appeal Board) and SHARE this cause with everyone you know. Please show the Board that the work being done in this community to turn things around for the citizens MATTERS - and that they should support those organizations and their initiatives by denying this appeal.
Thank you, Miri Peterson, Executive Director of Crystal Kids