Programming Connection

Sex Workers Program 

RÉZO
Montreal, Quebec
2010

Challenges

  • Staff burnout: Male sex workers can be a difficult and frustrating clientele to engage, and their trust must be built over time. If staff turn over frequently, trust is even more difficult to build.
  • Police interaction with sex workers can be a direct barrier to program implementation, driving sex workers further from view, necessitating creative outreach methods such as home visits and accepting collect calls.
  • When sex workers are sent to prison, the continuity of service is disrupted, leading to the potential for further mental and physical health issues as well as setbacks to the search for other employment and recovery from addiction.
  • Lack of community and police support can slow efforts to reach male sex workers.
  • Lack of access to program funding and donations of food and clothing can impede the program’s capacity for support and harm reduction.
  • It is only possible in a large urban setting with a critical mass of sex workers.