HUSTLE: Men on the Move
Evaluation Report 2010
Prepared by: Amanda Walker and Matthew Taylor
Table of Contents:
Sex Industry Work
Resources and Organizations Accessed
Bad Dates and Red Light Alert reporting
2010 marks the third year Hustle: Men on the Move has conducted an evaluation of its outreach program for youth and men engaged in sex work in Vancouver. Despite budgetary restraints and a more difficult economic climate, HUSTLE continues to expand its programming for these two under-served groups of marginalized people.
This year’s evaluation used methods and survey instruments similar to the 2009 evaluation round. Differences and difficulties are outlined in the Methods section of the Evaluation Report. All interviews were conducted at Drop-in programs frequented by the HUSTLE Outreach Team – for reasons of safety, confidentiality and level of support for participants.
Two survey instruments were written by the Program Coordinator, one for youth and a separate adult survey. As in 2009, this was done to reflect the experience and legal situation of youth who engage in sex work (legally considered ‘sexual exploitation for anyone under the age of 19). The adult surveys contained an additional section focused on Bad Date Reporting and the Red Light Alert. Both adults and youth were asked 19 questions about their experience during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games. Both adults and youth were asked demographic questions.
Unfortunately the data cannot be accurately broken down according to the ‘youth’ and ‘adult’ age divisions implemented for the survey. This is the result of adults completing the youth survey and vice-versa.
41 people participated in the evaluation. From this group, 49% identified as Caucasian, while 29% identified as Métis or First Nations. The average age of participants was 29 years, while 37% of respondents were 24 years or younger. Males represented 78% of the sample. In regard to sexual orientation, 63% of participants identified as either gay or bi-sexual. 73% reported being housed – mostly in Single Room Occupancy Hotels or Social Housing, while the remaining 27% were either homeless or had temporary (shelters, couch surfing) housing.
46% of respondents stated they currently engage in sex work. An additional 34% reported they had engaged in sex work in the past. A large proportion of participants, 78%, stated they were involved in the sex industry before the age of 19, with the average age of first involvement being 17 years of age.
The HUSTLE Outreach Team continued to make contact with a growing number of men and youth, while deepening relationships with participants through the peer support and skills program called “Elements”. The most requested service from the HUSTLE team was peer support; 33% of participants named peer support as their main request, while an additional 14% accessed the Elements program. HUSTLE assisted an additional 9% of the sample with obtaining identification replacements.
In regard to outreach supplies, the largest request -19% - was for harm reduction supplies. When asked what supplies participants would like HUSTLE to add to their arsenal, 20% suggested more harm reduction supplies such as pipes, ties and a needle exchange bucket. 8% wanted more food choices and another 8% suggested having a list of shelters and accommodations. Toiletries, pepper spray, band aids, phone cards and cheap places to eat were named by 2% respectively.
When asked if the Outreach Team had met their needs, 76% said yes. It must be noted that all participants who answered this question felt their needs had been met – the remainder opted not to answer this question. 92% of respondents said they would recommend HUSTLE to a friend. Only one person was less than satisfied with HUSTLE, opining that organizational issues needed to be improved.
As with previous years, participants wanted to see the HUSTLE program expand with more hours of outreach. Other suggestions included: more program advertising, increased individualized attention, expanding the geographic area of the Outreach Team, and having a community centre or a drop-in space devoted to HUSTLE participants. 25% of respondents thought the program was fine just the way it is.
Coinciding with participant comments regarding their displacement (while working) from the ‘Boys Town’ stroll, the top recommendations for route/time changes for the outreach team focused on various locations in the Downtown Eastside, including Single Room Occupancy Hotels (SROs), as well as the Broadway and Commercial Drive area. Additionally, English Bay and the beaches in the West End were places participants would like to see the Outreach Team add to their regular route.
The adult survey contained additional questions regarding Bad Dates and the Red Light Alert Reporting system. While 38% of respondents stated they had experienced a bad date, only 10% had reported the bad date to authorities. Fear (of police reaction, or client retribution) was the biggest barrier to reporting the bad dates. From the 60% of participants who knew about the Red Light alert report, only half actually read the report. One person stated it felt like the report was mostly geared towards women, while another participant thought peer reporting (i.e. word of mouth) was a quicker way of spreading information about bad dates to other sex workers.
In regard to the Olympics section of the survey, responses were divided in regard to positive and negative experiences. While some participants did experience conflict with police during the games, not one respondent experienced violence as a result of the increased police/security presence on the streets in tandem with the huge influx of tourists. The biggest impact seemed to be as a result of street closures – with 39% of respondents stating this impacted them negatively, while one person reported this as a positive impact since their squeegee ‘business’ increased. 33% of adults reported the Olympics did not impact their sex work, while 24% said business actually decreased during the Games.
Reading through the comments participants made, it is evident HUSTLE: Men on the Move is a well trusted, and much needed program for males and youth engaged in the sex industry. The Outreach Team provides peer support and other resources within a low barrier, non-judgmental framework – a framework that helps participants build trust with the HUSTLE Team. And it is this trust that HUSTLE works to uphold, year after year, in order to give participants the hope and skills they need to increase their well-being –and to see a new, brighter day.
2010 marks the third year HUSTLE: Men on the Move has conducted an evaluation of its outreach program to youth and male sex workers in Vancouver. Understanding how important it is for a program to take stock of its services and get participants’ feedback, HUSTLE Administrators opted to undertake the annual evaluation, despite budgetary restraints.
Fiscal considerations required a creative solution and a change from previous evaluations; instead of having external evaluators conduct participant surveys, members of the HUSTLE Outreach Team completed the interviews, which cut down on hiring and staffing time. The interviews were then given to an external researcher who compiled, analyzed and reported on the evaluation findings. While this process got the job done, a few issues arose that contributed to difficulties in analyzing the data. These issues are outlined in the Methods section. This year, additional questions were asked pertaining to the 2010 Olympic Games, and specifically about how participants were affected.
Below are the 6 main subject areas in which the data was compiled:
(B) Involvement with sex industry
(C) Resources accessed
(D) HUSTLE Program
(E) Bad Date Reporting and the Red Light Alert
(F) Olympic Experience.
The comparative analysis for the three years of HUSTLE evaluations covers 2008, 2009 and 2010
Knowing the importance of having a program evaluation, HUSTLE administrators found a creative solution to their budgetary restraints, in order to make sure the evaluation was completed for 2010.
The Program Coordinator developed the evaluation questionnaires, with input from the HUSTLE Steering Committee. Eight questions regarding Bad Date Reporting and the Red Light Alert sheet were asked of the adult participants. As well, an additional 19 questions were asked of both youth and adults regarding their experience during the Olympics in February 2010.
The youth survey was somewhat different from the adult survey, specifically to reflect the experiences of youth in relation to sex work, but also with a mind towards minimizing the potential for triggering a negative emotional response from a participant.
With no extra funding to hire Evaluators, HUSTLE opted to have their current outreach team administer the evaluation surveys, and then hired this researcher to analyze the data and prepare the evaluation report.
There were a few issues with data collection that impacted the final analysis. The first issue was that the Outreach Team did not have any prior experience with interviewing or conducting evaluation surveys. This resulted in lost or incomplete data. Given their inexperience in this area, the Team did a great job, and I commend them for their willingness to have taken on this challenge.
In previous years, HUSTLE used two slightly different surveys - one geared to adults, and the other for youth participants. This year, two surveys were again created and the decision was made to classify youth as participants under the age of 24 – the same age division used in the 2009 evaluation. This corresponds with the age requirement used by Directions (one of the agencies visited by HUSTLE). Unfortunately, when participants were interviewed at Youthco, (which has an age requirement of under 30) that it was a youth agency trumped the age criteria for the HUSTLE evaluation – and so people over 24 were interviewed using the youth survey.
In regard to the data, this oversight made it impossible to accurately divide the youth and adult surveys and analyze them separately, or to compare all results between 2010 and previous evaluations. Additionally, there were questions on the two surveys that were worded differently and thus, could not be combined and analyzed for the full sample. Within this report, data from the adult and youth surveys has been combined wherever possible.
Another factor that impacted the data was the open-ended questions used throughout the evaluation. In hindsight, the evaluation questions would have been more effective had closed ended questions with set response categories been used. Instead, open-ended questions created room for misunderstanding, and made it difficult for new and inexperienced interviewers to elicit measureable responses.
Additionally, the evaluation survey included important questions about participants’ experience with bad dates and the Red Light Alert reporting sheet, as well as their opinion on how the 2010 Olympics Games impacted them. These are important questions to ask, however, this writer feels the extra questions should have been asked separately from the evaluation questions – to maintain focus and to ensure participants were clear that questions being asked were about the HUSTLE program and
their experience with HUSTLE. My recommendation would be to have two separate surveys, one for evaluation purposes, and another for participants’ experience within Vancouver.
Having the Outreach Team conduct the interviews was a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they were known to participants and had a certain level of rapport with them, allowing for possibly more open and honest responses. However, this also could have potentially hampered their responses – if they were concerned about confidentiality or how their responses would impact their on-going relationships with the outreach team. Interviewers were instructed to inform participants they could request to complete the evaluation with another team member, if they felt too familiar or uncomfortable talking with the first interviewer.
This researcher did speak with the interviewers to clarify the process, but there was no formal training provided in how to conduct an evaluation survey.
Evaluations were conducted at Boys r’ Us, Directions and Youthco. As in previous evaluation rounds, the decision was made to interview HUSTLE participants at these familiar drop-in spaces, because the majority of participants are very transient, and it’s often difficult to conduct an interview street-side. Confidentiality, comfort, and having extra supports available if necessary, also weighed into the decision. The Outreach Team informed participants in advance of when the evaluation would be conducted, and advertised the dates.
Evaluation surveys were conducted between May and June 2010.
Each participant was given an Informed Consent sheet outlining the voluntary nature of the interview, the purpose of the interview, the participants’ right to confidentiality, and their right to withdraw consent at any point. Participants were not required to sign a consent form since the risks to participating were quite small (and consisted primarily of the potential of a negative emotional response). Interviews were anonymous. An honorarium of $20 was provided in recognition of the time involved with participating in the interview, which was approximately 15-20 minutes. The honoraria were paid up-front so participants maintained right of refusal and ongoing informed consent throughout the interview.
41 people were interviewed. Originally, there were to be 20 adults and 20 youth surveyed, but one additional survey was conducted. Because there were some adults who completed the youth survey, and one youth who completed the adult survey, it has not been possible to accurately assess responses from the two groups, except for those questions asked of both groups – such as demographics, HUSTLE program questions and the Olympic Experience section.
Key Findings: Demographics
In the first section of the survey, participants were asked questions related to their age and cultural heritage; whether they were currently involved with sex work; age of entry into sex work; number of years engaged in sex exchanges, as well as questions related to accessing community and health services. 41 participants completed the evaluation survey.
* 49% of the respondents identified as Caucasian, while 29% identified as Métis or First Nations
* Average age of respondents was 29. The oldest participant was 50 years of age and the youngest was 19
* 37% of respondents were 24 years old or younger
* 78% of participants were male, 10% female and 5% Trans. 7% of respondents did not define their gender
* In regard to sexual orientation, 39% identified as Gay, 34% as Straight and 24% as Bi-sexual
* 73% stated they had housing – primarily in social housing or Single Room Occupancy Hotels. The remaining 27% had either temporary housing (shelters, couch surfing) or were living on the street
* 29 participants, or 71%, identified Social Assistance as a source of income, while the remainder reported: drug dealing or middling, part time employment and temporary labour, volunteer honoraria, squeegying, busking, and pawning items for cash. 29% reported more than one source of income.
Key Findings: Sex industry Work
* 46% of respondents currently engage in sex work, while 34% had previously engaged in sex work. 20% stated they had never worked in the sex industry
* For the 80% of participants reporting present or previous sex work, the average age of first involvement in the sex industry was 17 years of age
* 78% of respondents were involved in the sex industry before the age of 19
* The average age for participants who had exited the sex industry was 23
* Only adults were asked about frequency of sex work. 21% worked daily, 29% weekly and 21% monthly. 4 responses ranged from working sporadically, every few months, whenever needed and “as a last option”
* With the exception of one respondent, all adults reported their gender identity when working was male. One person identified as Trans. The question was not asked of youth participants
* When adults were asked about their sexual identity when working, 52% said they identified as gay, 24% stated bi-sexual and 19% said straight. There was a 24% differential between personal and working sexual identities – representing 5 participants who stated they were either straight or bi-sexual in their personal lives and gay when working
* All adults responded to the question asking about working locations and venues – even if they weren’t currently engaged in sex work. The majority of participants, 33%, reported working only on the street, while 19% stated they used both the street and the internet. Other venues and locations included, bars, an agency, hotels or client houses and networking
* Among adults, the most popular methods for locating customers was either on-line or walking the stroll, representing 55% of the sample. Other responses included, bars, networking and ads in various publications
* When asked whether male and female sex workers share customers, 48% said yes, 19% said no and another 10% said maybe. Another 10% said they didn’t know. The rest of the sample did not answer the question. This question was only asked of adults
* 32% of respondents frequented cafes (including internet cafes) and coffee shops for work. Most of the coffee shops were chain cafes (Starbucks, Blenz) in the downtown area
* Of the 43% of adults who access the internet and used it also for sex work, the top three sites most commonly visited were: Craigslist (67%), Squirt (56%), and Gay.com (22%). Other sites included: Gayvancouver.com, Menforrent.com and the use of a personal website. 56% of respondents reported using more than one site
* When asked if they accessed the internet, 19 out of 20 youth said yes – representing 95%. The top two sites accessed were email sites and Facebook (37% each). Squirt.com was reportedly accessed by 16%, while Gay.com and Manhunt by 11% of youth. Craigslist was another site accessed by 21% of youth respondents. Youth were not asked if they used the internet for sex work.
Key Findings: Resources and Organizations Accessed
71% of participants reported accessing some community organization in the last year. It should be noted, all evaluation surveys were conducted at three different drop-in programs, and thus, even the people who stated they had not accessed some community organization had in fact visited an organization at least once. Of the participants who reported accessing resources, 76% accessed more than one organization.
27% of participants accessed Boys `R’ Us; 24% used Directions, and 22% named YouthCo as a resource they accessed. Since these were the three drop-ins used to access HUSTLE participants, it is not surprising they were the top three organizations named. Other organizations accessed by participants were: Covenant House (15%), BC Persons With AIDS Society (12%), AIDS Vancouver (10%), Gathering Place (8%), Coast Mental Health (8%), and HUSTLE (8%). A number of organizations were reported by one or two participants: the Dr. Peter Centre, Carnegie Centre, Harbour Light, Hobbit House, Broadway Youth Resource Centre (BYRC), Urban Native Youth Association (UNYA), Union Gospel Mission (UGM), Street Youth Jobs (SYJ), Peer to Peer, Youth Voice Outreach and ARISE.
In regard to outreach programs (other than HUSTLE) 59% reported having contact with the following outreach teams:
* Covenant House (24%)
* Directions (12%)
* The MAP Van (5%)
* The Carnegie Centre, Needle Exchange, Rain City Housing, Progressive Housing Society and YouthCo (2% each)
A slightly higher number of participants -76%- reported accessing health organizations in the past year. The Three Bridges Health Clinic was by utilized by 56% of respondents. Other local health clinics were accessed by 15% of participants, while the Street Nurses and Doctors at Directions were seen by 7%. 5% of people accessed either their own Doctor, Native Health or the Needle Exchange (at Three Bridges), while 2% reported visiting the following health organizations: St. Paul’s Hospital, The Compassion Club, Wellness Centre, ARISE
Key Findings – HUSTLE Program
* 88% of participants had heard of HUSTLE. 76% knew some aspect of HUSTLE services
* The majority of respondents (46%) learned of HUSTLE through the outreach team and 20% first learned of HUSTLE at Boys r’ Us; word of mouth among peers accounted for 7% while 5% of people first learned of the program at Directions
* 56% of participants had contact with the HUSTLE team at Boys r’ Us. Another 32% made first contact on the street; 17% named Directions as their first point of contact with HUSTLE. Two people (5%) had contact at PEERS, while one person named Covenant House and another stated their first contact was through Facebook- representing 5% of respondents
* The most requested service from HUSTLE – 33%- was peer support. An additional 14% of participants wanted access to HUSTLE’s Elements Program. 9% asked HUSTLE for assistance obtaining identification while the rest reported requesting outreach supplies such as: harm reduction equipment, including condoms, lube, and needles (19%); socks (17%), cigarettes (9%), and program referrals (3%). Of the 88% of participants who had previous knowledge of HUSTLE, 17% reported never asking for any supplies or support
* When asked what supplies they would like to see the HUSTLE outreach team carry -20% wanted more harm reduction supplies, such as pipes, ties and a needle exchange bucket. 8% wanted more food choices and another 8% suggested having a list of shelters and accommodations. Toiletries, pepper spray, Band-Aids, phone cards and a list of cheap places to eat were named by 2% respectively. 12% of participants said the team already carried good supplies and would make no changes
* When asked if the outreach team had met their needs, all participants who answered this question said ‘yes’ – representing 76% of the sample. 10 people did not answer this question because they had not had previous contact with HUSTLE, or opted to pass the question
* Overall, those who had contact with HUSTLE in the last year had good experiences with the team. Only one person reported the service “could be better” citing organizational issues as the reason for their critique of the HUSTLE team. 92% stated they would recommend HUSTLE to a friend.
When asked what improvements HUSTLE could make, 26% wanted to see the HUSTLE program expand for more hours of outreach. Other suggestions included: more advertising of the program (6%), expand the geographic area of the outreach team (6%), more individual attention (3%), and finally - to have a community centre or a drop-in space (3%). 25% of respondents thought the program was fine just the way it was. Another 25% were unsure of what changes could be made.
The top recommendations for route/time changes for the outreach team focused on locations in East Vancouver. Participants thought visits to Hotel residences (Single Room Occupancy Hotels), as well as the Downtown Eastside (DTES) in general would be beneficial. Broadway and Commercial was another location participants named. Additionally, English Bay and the beaches in the West-end were also cited as places the outreach team could add to their route. Almost half of respondents (49%) said no changes were needed – that the HUSTLE outreach route was good the way it was.
Key Findings – Male Life skills/Employability (ME) Program
Evaluation of the life skills/employability program was conducted separately. Only those participants who had completed the entire program were evaluated while engaged in follow-up sessions to revisit goals and plan for next steps/referrals.
Evaluation used a rating scale of 1-5 (1 strongly disagree to 5 strongly agree) with opportunity to provide additional comments after each section. Below is a breakdown by section and a tally of the numbers on the scale chosen:
I thought this Program was
- Well organized 33%( 5) 50%(4) 17%(3)
- Sufficient in terms of length 33%( 5) 50%(4) 17%(3)
- clear in its objectives 17%( 5) 83%(4)
- I was able to meet my intended goals 50%( 5) 33%(4) 17%(3)
I thought the facilitator(s) were:
- Enthusiastic and stimulating 17%( 5) 83%(4)
- Knowledgeable in workshop areas 100%( 4)
- Effective communicators 33%(5) 33%(4) 33%(3)
- Encouraging and Supportive 33%(5) 67%(4)
- Well prepared and organized 17%(5) 83%(4)
I believe the facilitator(s):
- Used helpful and instructional tools 33%( 5) 67%(4)
- Welcomed and planned for participation 50%(5) 33%(4) 17%( 3)
- Used workshop time effectively 17%(5) 83%(4)
- Set useful and appropriate workshops 33%(5) 67%(4)
- Offered helpful/constructive feedback 33%(5) 67%(4 )
The final workshop section used a rating scale (M) most enjoyed – (L) least enjoyed with respect to topic theme and participation:
- Communication/Active Listening 50%(M) 50%(L)
- Co- dependency/Healthy Relationships 67%(M) 33%(L)
- Self/Esteem/Confidence Building 83%(M) 17%(L)
- Healthy Boundaries 83%(M) 17%(L)
- Healing Shame 67%(M) 33%(L)
- Trust Building 100%(M)
- Safety Training (PACE) 83%(M) 17%(L)
- Art Therapy (Dawn Macleod) 33% M 67%(L)
- Confrontation/Ager Management 100%(M)
- resume writing 83%(M) 17%(L)
Participants were asked to provide any additional workshops that they would like to see added to the program. Below is a list of topics suggested:
Interactive workshop session with graduates (Q&A)
Hands on skill development
HIV and HCV information
**It is acknowledged that for future ME programs, participants will be asked to engage in an interim and final evaluation in order to capture responses and input from a greater number of participants. This will assist greatly in monitoring participant progress as success is not necessarily determined by completion of the program
Outreach Statistics (July 2009 to June 2010)
Below is a charted summary of supplies provided to program participants in Vancouver communities through HUSTLE Outreach services. During this time period outreach services were provided on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights in addition to service delivery at two existing drop in programs in the Downtown East side and the Downtown South.
Harm Reduction Supplies
Summary of Statistics:
HUSTLE outreach provides supplies, support and referral information in addition to accompaniment to appointments for those who request additional support. The above data represents a count based on information logged by outreach workers during normal late night shifts, drop-in engagements and social networking.
Harm reduction supplies inclusive of condoms, lubricant and alcohol swabs were distributed together in kits and a total of 1273 kits were provided to male/trans survival sex workers and street involved youth. Clean needles (NEX) and supplies for IDU’s were provided in packages of 10 with 188 kits being distributed to program participants as required. Overall, the distribution of harm reduction, nutrition and hygiene supplies continues to be extremely valuable tools toward building relationships with adult and youth program participants as well as helping to increase their general health and safety in community.
In 2009/2010, HUSTLE received significantly less financial assistance from our core outreach funding source and as a result, needed to reduce the number of hours and workers for a period of the 4 months leading up to the Olympic games. Additional funding specific to enhancing outreach to survival sex workers during the Olympics was gratefully provide by the City of Vancouver, however, outreach engagement with clients was particularly quiet over the month and a half pre, during and post-Olympic games. As outlined in the Olympic Impact section, many of our clients either participated in the Olympic activities or avoided them altogether. These two significant differences from previous years help to account for lower numbers of on-street engagements and provision of outreach.
Another notable trend that HUSTLE/PEERS continues to follow is the marked increase in the number of individuals who have developed an online presence through social networking where they actively develop community, organize, meet and work in the sex industry. While there will always be a need for on-street outreach and engagement, we realize the responsibility that we have to continue to develop our online presence with Social Networking Sites (SNS) and the internet as a whole. Facebook is our primary source of online client engagement while Craigslist and The Naked Truth (Adult Entertainment SNS) are sites/forums where HUSTLE/PEERS have an active, albeit limited presence. Through SNS, HUSTLE has been successful at engaging with new and existing clients, follow-up and checking in as well as the setting and reminding of appointments, meetings and relevant community events. PEERS/HUSTLE will be actively seeking specific funding in 2011 to develop a comprehensive ‘Netreach’ program that will effectively engage our growing client base online.
Key Findings – Bad Date Reporting and the Red Light Alert
This section was only asked of participants completing the adult survey, making the sample size 21.
* 38% of participants reported having experienced a bad date
* Only 2 people – or 10%- had reported the bad date. Three people opted to pass this question. One individual stated that while they had not reported the bad date to the authorities, they spread the word informally through his peer community
* Participants reported the bad dates to the police (using the HUSTLE outreach cell phone) or to the Red Light reporting system in Edmonton (where the assault had taken place)
* 60% of respondents were familiar with the Red Light Alert in Vancouver and most (55%) knew where to access the Alert
* Only half of those who knew about the Red Light Alert actually read the report. Two important comments should be highlighted regarding the Red Light Alert; one participant said it “…feels like the Alert is geared towards women”, while another person stated that information about bad dates travels faster by word of mouth
* Most respondents (33%) stated that fear was the biggest barrier to reporting bad dates – fear of reprisal from the perpetrator and fear about how the police would handle the report. Embarrassment and the hassle of legal action were also thought to be barriers to reporting.
Key Findings – Olympic Experience
Questions about people’s experience during the Olympics were asked of both youth and adults- with the exception of the questions specifically pertaining to sex work, which were asked only of adult respondents.
* 20% of people felt they were displaced during the Games
* 24% experienced firsthand conflict with police, while another 10% witnessed conflict between police and other people. 7% of people either experienced firsthand or witnessed conflict with security personnel. 5% of respondents reported either having conflict with tourists or witnessing others in conflict with tourists
* In regard to the impact of road closures, one person was impacted positively (because squeegee business increased), while 39% were negatively impacted. 34% reported they were not impacted at all by the road closures
* 33% of adults reported that the Olympics did not really impact their sex work business. 5% stated that business increased, while 24% said business decreased
* The vast majority (43%) reported their clients consisted of locals and only 10% reported tourists as their clients. Another 5% reported they had both locals and tourist clients
* Only two respondents noticed an increase in out of town sex workers during the Olympics – one of whom stated they noticed the increase in on-line advertising
* Of those who were working during the Olympics, 57% charged the same rates, while 14% increased their rates during the Games
* When asked about their experience with visiting clients, the 10% of adults who had such exchanges said they were good. Overall business experience during the Games was varied; responses ranged from “stayed the same, decreased, to “a pain in the ass”. Slightly more (20% compared to 13% respectively) respondents said their overall experience was “good”. A further 13% said they stayed home while the Olympics were in Vancouver, while 7% stated business increased during the Games.
Concerning violence during the Olympics – not one respondent had experienced violence. When asked if they thought violence (in general) in Vancouver had increased, decreased or stayed the same during the Olympics – 41% thought the violence level was the same as always, 17% believed it had increased and a further 15% actually thought it had decreased during the Games.
The question regarding evidence of human trafficking during the Olympics was only asked of adult participants. 71% stated they saw no evidence of human trafficking, while 5% stated they did not know. The remaining respondents did not answer the question.
For youth the question was worded quite differently and asked, “Was there any evidence of people engaging in any activities against there [sic] own will that you saw?” The data from these two questions cannot be collapsed as it a different question altogether. Responses from youth were very similar to adults; 70% said no and 5% said they didn’t know. The remaining participants did not answer the question.
* 68% of participants felt safe during the Olympics while a slightly higher percentage – 73% - stated they had no other safety concerns related to the Games
* When asked whether there was an increase of support or outreach from agencies during the Olympics 54% did not notice any difference in services
* Participants were asked whether they accessed supports during the Olympic period; 15% stated they did not access services during the Games, which was mostly due to transportation changes and getting around town during that time. Those participants who sought services, accessed the same agencies during the Games as they would have at other times
* Opinion among participants was split when asked about their overall impression of the Olympics; 34% stated their overall impression was negative – with comments such as, “it was a pain in the ass”, to “Garbage. Good for the Country but not for the homeless”. Those that had a positive overall impression of the Games (29%) made comments such as, “good. Happy with it. Proud to be in Vancouver for it”, and, “I think they [the Games] went really well. Really well conducted.”
* Youth were asked to give advice to the next Olympic Host City. Their responses included comments such as, “make it for more of the people”, “watch out for street kids”, and “be prepared for debt”. When asked what advice they’d give to youth in the next Olympic host city comments ranged from, “have fun- get up early and go to free events”, “don’t be afraid to complain if rights are infringed upon”, and don’t be too aggressive on the street”
* Adults were asked to what advice they would give to other sex workers in future Olympic cities. Responses were practical, “Be discrete”, “be careful of undercover cops”, and “If you can afford to, don’t work and enjoy the Games”.