We are a grassroots direct-service and peer-based advocacy organization of: women, non-binary, gender non-conforming, and trans people in Philadelphia’s sex trade, providing women and femme-centered services with a focus on women working and living in the street economies in Kensington.
Why We Exist:
We exist because sex workers in our city (and around the world) are not having their basic human rights respected. Sex workers are stigmatized, criminalized, and killed for their profession. Our community deserves more, and we work to ensure people have access to basic needs and harm reduction supplies alongside our community building and advocacy efforts.
Established in Philadelphia in 2004, Project SAFE’s mission is to promote human rights-based public health and harm reduction among women, GNC, and trans people working in the sex and drug trades on the street in Philadelphia*. SAFE is an organization dedicated to ensuring the health, safety and survival of women & LGBT people on the street by providing advocacy, education and support using a harm reduction model. SAFE seeks to reduce the spread of HIV, hepatitis C and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among our community, and promote health and safety by empowering the community with relevant information and resources.
The community SAFE primarily works with are women, non-binary, gender non-conforming, and trans people involved in street-based economies. Although it is up to each individual’s discretion to reveal whether or not they are currently or ever have participated in these economies, about half of our volunteers have disclosed that they are sex workers, and/or current or former substance users. There is also an open invitation to everyone we contact through outreach to volunteer with us, as well as work with us through several positions that include a stipend. Participants we reach through outreach also serve as a base for forming advisory committees concerning developments or changes in the organization.
Project SAFE is funded in large part by AIDS United as well as our very own community members who keep us going. We are grateful to NASEN/Point Defiance AIDS Project, our 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor.