Some youth say they choose to be sex-workers. Others are forced into the $32 billion industry against their will. Prax(us), the only Colorado advocacy organization serving both groups, will shutter its doors this December.
The nonprofit set itself apart from the army of Christian anti-sex-trafficking organizations that demand participants be abstinent and sober, by focusing specifically on homeless youth in exploitative situations and offering individuals support without judgement.
Prax(us) didn’t require youth be sober. It didn’t require them to work with law enforcement. It didn’t stigmatize youth for criminal activities or participating in sex-work.
Prax(us) offered judgement-free emotional support, counseling and job-skills training.
“Through outreach, we go where other people aren’t willing to go. The unique thing about Prax(us) is that we always work with people wherever they’re at. We don’t require people to be in a certain social location,” board member Midori Higa told The Colorado Independent.
Prax(us) is also different from its abstinence-only peers because it didn’t tell people to just quit but rather encouraged clients to reduce harm by learning about and practicing safer drug use and safer sex.