About the emergency fund
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.
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.
We have assembled hygiene kits and are collaborating with a local mutual aid food distribution group to provide supplies to sex workers in need.
Donating to the 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 for a microgrant
We’re 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. But 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. You may apply multiple times to the fund.
** 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 firstname.lastname@example.org . The application is a list of demographic questions (below) and a quick phone call.**
The next deadline is June 5th! Email, call, or text us before then to set up a screening and be eligible for our June 10th payments!
If you’re interested, we can also give you information on our supply kits, SWOP support calls, and more.
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. Once we hear from you, we will reach out to set up a phone call to follow up.
- 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-109?
- How much are you requesting ($50-100)?
- 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, within the Boston area.)
- Have you previously received funds from the Boston Sex Worker COVID-19 Relief Fund? If so, when?