Hope in the City Toronto – Let’s End Human Trafficking

Larissa Maxwell on stage at Hope in the City Toronto
by The Salvation Army in Canada
Categories: Divisional News

By: June Li

On Thursday, November 22nd, 400 guests including business leaders and influential community members gathered at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Downtown Toronto for The Salvation Army’s annual Hope in the City Leadership Breakfast. M.P.Ps Lorne Coe, Vijay Thanigasalam and Faisa Hassan also joined this momentous day with The Salvation Army, as we kicked-off the start of the holiday season.

As guests gathered in the main foyer and filled The Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettles, Emcee Pam Moss greeted individuals and welcomed this year’s keynote speaker, Larissa Maxwell, the Director of Anti-Human Trafficking Programs for The Salvation Army’s British Columbia Division. With over 15 years of working with survivors of human trafficking, Larissa has witnessed the true hardships and realities that this often indivisible crime in Canada can have on individuals.

“Modern day slavery exists and it is happening to Canadians and being done by Canadians,” says Maxwell, “People are being trafficked right in our own neighbourhoods.”

Maxwell explained that Ontario is a significant hub for human traffickers in Canada. Though this crime is truly horrific, Salvation Army social services such as Deborah’s Gate in British Columbia is providing victims with hope and redemption.

“It is one thing to have hope, but we have to show these individuals what it is like to live with hope,” says Maxwell, “More often than not, they slip through society’s cracks but our programs can and will help them get back on their feet.”

“Everything can be redeemed, renewed and restored.”

Pam Moss, the morning’s Emcee, concluded the event with a quote from William Booth, Founder of The Salvation Army,

“While women weep, as they do now, I’ll fight
While little children go hungry, as they do now,
I’ll fight
While men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now,
I’ll fight
While there is a drunkard left,
While there is a poor lost girl upon the streets,
While there remains one dark soul without the light of God,
I’ll fight-I’ll fight to the very end!”

A big thank you to our Platinum Sponsor, KPMG; Gold Sponsor, RBC; Silver Sponsor; Ivan S. Franco Architect; and our Table Sponsors Cooper Gordon, GREY, Dime-Aire and Edelman.

Together, we can provide a guiding light to those being trafficked. With your support, we can change the script from hopelessness and despair to hope and a path for a brand new life.

For more photos of the event, please visit our Facebook page here.