ABOUT BRIDGENORTH (WHAT WE DO)
BridgeNorth (BN) is a community program based in York Region, Ontario, dedicated to helping commercially sexually exploited women and children exit the sex industry and build the healthy lives that they want to live.
BN’s Founder & Director, Casandra Diamond, draws on her own experiences in the sex trade to provide holistic care to commercially sexually exploited individuals through prevention strategies, exit strategies, and safety planning.
Casandra’s work started in 2006, when she began reaching out to women she had previously worked with in licensed massage parlours. She began meeting with women and their children weekly to talk, share a meal and study the Bible together. The success of this group inspired Casandra to want to do more and care for the women’s practical needs.
Casandra began working at a local women’s organization, as a Case Manager, where she gained skills in crisis support, counseling and more. While working as a Case Manager, Casandra’s career focus began to include advocacy and she was instrumental in adopting our current legal landscape surrounding prostitution in Canada.
It was then Casandra decided to leave her job and begin her own program, founding BridgeNorth in 2014. Casandra’s past experiences have shaped the holistic services that BridgeNorth offers today, which includes spiritual care alongside practical care.
KEY PROGRAM OBJECTIVES
- Assist exploited persons to successfully exit the sex industry
- Assist exploited persons in successfully reintegrating into society
- Educate the public & government about the need for cessation of systemic exploitation through licensed facilities in the sex industry
CORE STRATEGIC PRIORITIES
- Direct Service (Crisis support, case management, mentorship)
- Advocacy (Provide consultations to social service agencies and various levels of government)
- Public Education (Increase awareness of human trafficking)
Funded by Newmarket, ON (June 2016)