Programming Connection

Sex Workers Program 

RÉZO
Montreal, Quebec
2010

Lessons Learned

  • Providing sex workers with a convenient and confidential location to meet and access multiple practical assistance services on-site promotes feelings of safety and comfort and reduces barriers to accessing harm reduction services.
  • Providing services in a non-sexualized environment supports the stability of a program by keeping support services in a safe, neutral setting, away from the milieu in which sex workers meet clients.
  • Keeping a dedicated core team of outreach workers plays an important role in the development of a relationship with individuals who use the program that is built on confidence.
  • Maintaining program staff over the long term and using the same staff for street-level outreach and drop-in centre services helps to develop trust between staff and male sex workers.
  • Opportunities to relax, chat and cook meals together facilitates community building among male sex workers.
  • Improving the health and quality of life of sex workers can improve their ability to engage in socially responsible behaviour, which can improve their relationship with the community at large.