Servants Anonymous Facilitated Exit (SAFE)

Program snapshot

Age group: Young adult (18-24); Adult (25-64)

Gender: Female only

Population served: Sex workers; Victims of crime

Topic: Prostitution, sex trade and/or sexual exploitation; Violence against women and girls

Setting: Urban area; Community-based setting

Location: Alberta

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 0

Continuum of intervention: Tertiary crime prevention

Brief Description

Servants Anonymous Facilitated Exit (SAFE) provides a five bed ‘early intervention’ stabilization housing facility and program. It is a 30 day “street to treatment” transition and stabilization program that provides immediate shelter, basic needs, counseling and support for women who wish to leave the sex trade. SAFE provides a safe, secure, structured environment in which women can address immediate health, addiction and justice issues, as they prepare for entry into the longer term (6-12 month) day treatment program at Servants Anonymous Society (SAS).


The main goals of SAFE program are to:

  • Provide immediate safe housing and support to women (and their children) who wish to exit the sex trade;
  • Identify individual needs and issues (e.g. basic needs, addictions, legal issues, mental/physical health, personal social/emotional issues, child welfare, etc.) and begin work to address those of most immediate concern;
  • Help women increase their motivation to change by moving them from a “contemplation” stage to a “preparation” stage where they begin to plan their long-term change strategies. As women move into the main treatment at SAS they begin an “action” stage in their recovery journey;
  • Engage women in a trusting relationship that will help them maintain their commitment to their exit plan and increase their likelihood of success in the program; and
  • Assist women to make a successful transition from street to treatment.


The SAS serves females 16 years of age and older who are victims of, or are at risk or, sexual exploitation.  A majority of participants who entered, as well as completed, the 30 day program were between the ages of 25 and 34.

As of the spring of 2012, SAFE served 172 women and 20 children, where 111 completed the 30 day program. In the following year, they served an additional 40 women.

Core Components

The core components of the SAFE program include providing:

  • Immediate shelter;
  • Basic needs; and
  • Counselling and support for women who wish to leave the sex trade.

Implementation Information

Some of the critical elements for the implementation of this program or initiative include the following:

  • Organizational requirements: Incorporation of programming that specifically targets each individual’s recovery plan is crucial. Women set their own personal goals, most of which are very short term during the recovery period. Program staff need to be flexible to meet the woman’s specific needs, accompanying her to appointments and actively participating in all aspects of the recovery process.
  • Partnerships: Partnerships with Alberta Mental Health Claresholm and the Alex Pathways to Housing have been developed.
  • Training and technical assistance: Limited information on this topic.
  • Risk assessment tools: Limited information on this topic.
  • Materials & resources: Limited information on this topic.

International Endorsements

The most recognized classification systems of evidence-based crime prevention programs have classified this program or initiative as follows:

  • Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development: Not applicable.
  • Crime Solutions/OJJDP Model Program Guide: Not applicable.
  • SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices: Not applicable.
  • Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy: Not applicable.

Gathering Canadian Knowledge

Canadian Implementation Sites

The SAFE program was implemented in Calgary, Alberta from May 2009 – March 2013.

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

No information available.

Cost Information

A social return on investment (SROI) has been conducted on the SAFE program. The findings from this study have shown the following:

  • The SROI Ratio indicates that in the course of three years, the overall social value of investment in the SAFE program is $8.81 for every dollar invested;
  • This is the result of three years of value creation, with Year 1 seeing $8.95 in social value created, Year 2 seeing $6.96, and Year 3 seeing $10.51; and
  • Addressing the immediate needs of women seeking to leave the sex trade and supporting these women in transitioning into the programming at SAS, creates not only meaningful and important change in the lives of these women but also a significant amount of social value within the community.


Alberta Community Crime Prevention Organizations. (2015). Social Return on Investment (SROI) Case Study: Servants Anonymous Facilitated Exit (SAFE). Recipient of Safe Communities Innovation Fund, Government of Alberta. Available from:

For more information on this program, contact:

Servants Anonymous Society of Calgary
Marina Giacomin
Telephone: (403)205-5531

Record Entry Date - 2018-03-12
Record Updated On - 2021-04-29
Date modified: