Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 24, 2002
CSS honours Quinn's advocacy work
Inner-city woman gives a hand to prostitutes
By RAMON GONZALEZ
"What keeps me going is to see the power of what can happen when some people get together with a dream, roll up their sleeves and start working on it."
- Kathleen Quinn
In 1974 she was hired by the Calgary Learning Centre and two years later, in 1976, she moved to Edmonton's inner city to join a lay community of the Scarboro Mission Society.
She served as animator for CCODP from 1978 to 1991.
Quinn and her family have been active in the McCauley neighbourhood since she moved there over 25 years ago. She has participated in both the neighbourhood community league and continues to be an active contributor to the Boyle McCauley News.
"But perhaps Quinn's greatest passion is her commitment to help eradicate the exploitation of people in prostitution," O'Byrne said. "Living and raising a family in the Boyle McCauley neighbourhood, the issue was literally right outside her front door."
Quinn took a leadership role in establishing Communities for Changing Prostitution. Soon her concern extended to concern for the children and women violated through prostitution. She served as a volunteer on Edmonton's Safer Cities Committee and the Avenue of Nations Crime and Safety Committee.
She helped to establish the Prostitution Offender Program and now coordinates that program and is executive director of the Prostitution Awareness and Action Foundation of Edmonton, which, among other things, educate johns on the consequences of their actions.
Money to run the program comes from the johns themselves. If they are caught by police, they are given two choices: defend themselves through the courts or pay $400 to attend john school. Some 40 per cent of that money is used to provide healing to victims of prostitution and to address the number one cause of prostitution - poverty. "We help the women and their families to get out of prostitution and into healthier lives," Quinn said.
Quinn, a member of CSS' family service advisory committee since 1996, has also served on the provincial working group on prostitution and continues to serve as a member of the Protection of Children Involved in Prostitution steering committee.
What keeps her going? "What keeps me going is to see the power of what can happen when some people get together with a dream, roll up their sleeves and start working on it. That's very energizing. Each obstacle can become an opportunity to learn."
CSS president Al Pierog said Quinn is well deserving of the award because "She didn't run away from the problems in the McCauley area. She faced them head on."
At the annual meeting, CSS also handed 2002 outstanding volunteer awards to Dave Dowler, Roger and Trish Evert, Barbara Garnett, Kathy Kolthammer and Patricia O'Brien.
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