COVID-19 Relief Fund for Boston Sex Workers
$19,365 raised
65% of $30k goal
225 contributors
185 Days running

September 7, 2020 Update

By now, we've distributed more than $18,000 in supplies and cash to Massachusetts sex workers. This funding cycle we’ve had the highest number of requests to date, with requests far exceeding our remaining funds. As the pandemic drags on, we see that the folks coming to us with requests are in greater need of support.

We're trying to raise another $1500 by September 10th to make payments to the 30 sex workers who have made requests this cycle. We've raised our total goal by another $10,000 (for a total of $30,000 so far) to continue our work through the end of the year. The SWOP Boston and MASWAN COVID fund has allowed us to build community and expand our networks with both street-based and online workers and we're so grateful for all of your support! 

August 7, 2020 Update

We’re so grateful for all of the support and contributions we’ve received so far, thank you all! As of August 1 st , we’ve distributed  over $15,500 to Massachusetts based sex workers in cash payments and supplies.   

Over the past few months we’ve been making plans to continue running this fund and organize with the new folks we’re reaching, but we’ve also been looking at more sustainable sources of funding.  

We’ve had a huge increase in the number of requests to our fund, and we know that we’ll need to keep fundraising support for more immediate relief. We’ve increased our total goal to $30,000, which will support another three months of payments.  We need your financial solidarity to make this happen.

We need your help to continue making relief payments to folks every two weeks – our request list is longer, pandemic unemployment benefits have gotten cut (if folks had in the first place), and we appreciate your donations more than ever!  

I ncoming donations will be used to make cash relief payments to sex workers and to buy supplies for our safer sex, hygiene, and food bags that we distribute in person . Thank you so much for  your continued solidarity with sex workers – it’s truly appreciated!   

Jess  

MASWAN Member

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About Us

This fund is organized by SWOP Boston, a chapter of SWOP USA, and MASWAN, the Massachusetts Sex Worker Ally Network. SWOP Boston and MASWAN have been working together to fight for sex workers' rights since MASWAN was founded in 2016. 

If you have any questions about the fund, please feel free to email us: maswan@protonmail.com or  swopboston@protonmail.com.

COVID-19 in Boston & Massachusetts

The greater Boston area has been hit particularly hard by COVID-19 and as the responses call for longer periods of social distancing, sex workers face severe loss of income and support networks. Club shutdowns, appointment cancellations, and social distancing precautions have meant a dramatic decrease in work. For street-based workers, police harassment has increased while work opportunities are less frequent. 

Sex workers who have been hit hardest are often those who were already struggling to make ends meet; Black, trans, queer, undocumented sex workers, sex workers who are unstably housed, those who use drugs, or who are chronically ill are all experiencing compounded effects. Throughout all of this, existing resources for help have become more and more strained. 

Our Response

We have assembled hygiene kits and are collaborating with a local mutual aid food distribution group to provide supplies to sex workers in need. 

Our Fund

Your solidarity contribution will fund cash payments that we provide to sex workers to help meet their financial and material needs during this ongoing crisis. We are ready to distribute cash and supplies in person and online. This fund is made up 100% of community donations and will be distributed 100% to local sex workers. 

How to Apply

SWOP-Boston is offering cash payments of $100 to sex workers who live and/or work in Massachusetts.  We are currently prioritizing funding for sex workers affected by racist, queerphobic, and transphobic violence; those who are unhoused; and those who have disabilities or who are immuno-compromised.  However, we encourage all sex workers in need of assistance in the area to apply.  We will make decisions on a rolling basis every two weeks based on need as well as the order of applications. 

 

** If you would like to apply to the relief fund or need a food and supply kit, please call or text us at 617-431-6174 or email us at maswan@protonmail.com . **

 

When you call, text, or email us, please be prepared to answer the following questions.  Please note: there are no wrong answers, but this information will help us allocate funds to those who are in the most immediate need.

  • Are you a sex worker?
  • Do you live and/or work in Massachusetts?
  • Are you currently housed?
  • Are you black, indigenous, or a person of color?
  • Do you identify as LGBTQ+?
  • Has your income been affected by COVID-19?
  • Do you have other sources of income at this time?
  • Do you have dependents?
  • Do you have health conditions that put you at increased risk in relation to COVID-19?
  • What is your preferred payment method (e.g. Venmo, Cashapp, Paypal, cash) (It’s easiest for us to distribute funds to you electronically, but we can also arrange to get you cash.)
  • Have you previously received funds from the MA Sex Worker COVID-19 Relief Fund? If so, when?

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