Rehab centre for Vancouver prostitutes to open by spring
Last Updated Tue, 19 Nov 2002 22:49:53

CBC Newsworld

VANCOUVER - The families of some of Vancouver's missing women are opening a rehab centre for the city's prostitutes.

Valerie Hughes

Legacy House will run out of a 10-bedroom house on an acre of land in Maple Ridge, about an hour outside of Vancouver.

A local charity donated the use of the home for five years, in exchange for the families doing some major repairs to the building.

Val Hughes' sister disappeared from Vancouver's downtown eastside almost five years ago. She said the city desperately needs a centre such as this.

"Today women are being hurt. So the sooner we can get this house filled with women, the better off everybody is," Hughes said.

There is no government money for the centre, so the families are fundraising for the $600,000 they estimate will be needed to complete the repairs. Donations will also pay for the staff of six to eight counsellors.

Erin McGrath, whose sister Leigh Miner has been missing for nine years, is holding a swimathon: 630 laps, 10 for each missing woman.

"I'm going to hold that woman in my heart as I swim for her, and I'll work my way down the list and my sister will be the last," McGrath said.

She said the families had to do something to help the women, because no one else is.

"We waited for other people to help us find our sisters. Nothing gets done. We realize to save lives you've got to do it yourself and we're committed. It's my whole life to get these women well," McGrath said.

Hughes said she has already had calls from prostitutes wondering when the centre will open so they can move in. She hopes Legacy House will be open by spring.

Written by CBC News Online staff

Rehab centre for Vancouver prostitutes to open by spring 

Missing Women’s Legacy Society  

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Missing Women Tip Line: 1-877-687-3377

Updated: August 21, 2016