HIPS’ mission is to assist female, male, and transgender individuals engaging in sex work in Washington, DC in leading healthy lives. Utilizing a harm reduction model, HIPS’ programs strive to address the impact that HIV/AIDS, STIs, discrimination, poverty, violence and drug use have on the lives of individuals engaging in sex work.
HIPS was formed in 1993 by community representatives in response to the recognized need for specialized services for youth engaging in sex for gain in Washington, D.C. We have since grown into a comprehensive program providing a variety of services, education and advocacy to sex workers and the community.
HIPS Programs Include
Outreach – “Meeting People Where they’re At”
Peer-Based Education “By us For us”
Client Advocacy “Creating Options”
Technical Assistance & Capacity Building
The majority of HIPS’ contacts are made through our mobile outreach program. HIPS reaches an average of 100 sex workers each night on outreach and makes over 8,000 contacts every year. Three nights a week, between 11 pm and 8 am, HIPS staff and volunteers provide education, counseling, distribution of condoms & safer sex materials and syringe exchange on the streets. HIPS works to build positive relationships with sex workers through active listening, consistent outreach and unconditional support.
HIPS also helps sex workers set and achieve personal goals and growth through our Peer Education and Client Advocacy Program. HIPS 24-hour hotline provides counseling and referrals to anyone in or affected by prostitution or sex work. Hotline counselors can answer health questions or support parents whose sons or daughters are engaged in sex work. All of our services provide comprehensive, unconditional support, utilizing harm reduction models to assist youth and adults on the street to identify the skills they need or already have to make healthier life choices for themselves.
HIPS is a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt organization that relies on support from over 100 dedicated volunteers, local community advocates, religious organizations, private foundations and businesses to support our work.