Sex Workers Outreach Project Chicago [SWOP-Chicago] is a grassroots organization dedicated to improving the lives of current and former sex workers in the Chicago area, on and off of the job.
1.) We’re the only organization in Chicago focused on providing neutral, non-judgmental resources and support to and advocacy on behalf of people involved in the sex trade:
While there are a number of organizations that provide exit-based resources to individuals involved in the sex trade as well as trafficking victims, no other organization provides and refers a broad spectrum of individuals in the industry. Based on conversations, we’re are one of very few organizations a lot of people feel comfortable going to.
2.) We’re all volunteer run:
That means every dollar you give goes directly to supplies for street-outreach, space & snacks for supportive events, and printing/web-hosting costs for educational materials.
3.) We’re Peer-Led:
SWOP-Chicago includes current & former sex workers in leadership, meaning that our programming is created by and for the population we intend to serve.
4.) There’s a lot of bang for every donated buck:
In 2014, we expect to distribute 50-70,000 condoms, on par with the distribution numbers of organizations with much larger operating budgets. And in 2013, with an operating budget of appx. $4,000 for 2013, we’ve distributed 13,000 condoms, created a web-based Health & Safety Q&A ap for sex workers, answered over 90 hotline calls from trafficking victims and sex workers, handed out 1000 resource maps of non-judgmental services, gave trainings to staff at appx 10 organizations, and hosted 6 community-wide events.
5.) We help the broader community as well:
Our outreach in Garfield Park also provides hot beverages, baked goods and safer sex supplies to a high-poverty neighborhood. We also provide condoms to individuals, party/event organizers, and stores. And our safer-sex FAQ webpage is utilized by a broad and diverse group of online users.
6.) We have a really exciting 2014 planned: