Cyndee Clay, Executive Director

Ms. Clay has advocated for, by and with individuals engaged in sex work or sex for gain with since 1995. She has developed harm reduction based programs and provided technical assistance and training for medical and social service providers both in the U.S. and internationally on topics including HIV Prevention,  LGBT Sensitivity, Sex Work and Harm Reduction. Ms. Clay  served as foundation representative on the Ms. Foundation’s first collaborative for Healthy Girls/Healthy Women, and serves on Washington DC’s Community HIV Prevention Planning Group, and the Health Department’s working group on Substance Use and HIV, and represents the District of Columbia on the national Urban Coalition of HIV/AIDS  Prevention Services.




Elizabeth Saracco, Director of Programs

Elizabeth Saracco has been with HIPS since Valentine’s Day 2003.Ms. Saracco works closely with the Executive Director in all aspects of program development and organizational goals. She is responsible for HIPS program supervision, evaluation and administration as well as acting as a liaison to foundation and public funders.  Ms. Saracco has developed and implemented numerous interventions including, “Choices” for NJ DOH  and “Charm School” for HIPS which provides peer support, health education, goal setting and advocacy geared towards women who use drugs. She has also worked as a consultant for NECAPT (Northeast Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies-) and has presented various workshops on peer based strategies regarding public health and issues around the sex work community at national and international conferences. Ms. Saracco possesses an AA in Liberal Studies from Harcum College, BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a MS in Clinical Psychology from California Coast University. While not doing HIPS stuff Ms. Saracco likes collecting 80’s punk and metal records, watching Arsenal F.C. matches, and experimenting with eye shadow.

Angel Brown,Client Advocate

Angel Brown entered in the movement in 2007, when she came to HIPS (Helping Individuals Prostitutes Survive)  as a full time volunteer giving as many as thirty-five (35) hours each week of her time. In 2009, she was invited to join the Peer Education Program and has grown through that program to her current position as HIPS’ Client Advocate.  Angel provides one-on-one counseling, HIV/HCV testing and linkage, assistance with referrals and currently manages the Social Networking Program- an incentive run program designed to reach sex workers and drug users in their communities and meeting their needs where they are, as they are.



Catherine   Paquette, Manager, Outreach and Mobile Services

Catherine started as an AIDS United Americorps member serving for one year in the HIPS Outreach Department. She was born and raised in the Philippines, and received her BA from Wheaton College, where she studied Communication/Theater and Urban Studies. Before she came to DC, she did outreach to male sex workers as an intern at a Chicago non-profit; did research on public policy, enforcement, and the risks of sex work.  She also explores her passion for storytelling and advocacy as a stage actor and theater artist.