HIPS' mission is to assist female, male, and transgendered 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 and police representatives in response to the recognized need for specialized services for youth engaging in sex for gain in Washington, D.C.
HIPS reaches over 100 sex workers each night on outreach and makes over 8,000 contacts every year. Over 4,500 of those contacts are with youth under 24. The majority of HIPS' contacts are made through our mobile outreach program. Three nights a week, from 9:00pm until 5:00am, HIPS staff and volunteers, provide education and counseling, and distribute safety materials, clothing and food to sex workers on the streets. HIPS works to build positive relationships with sex workers on the street through active listening, consistent outreach and unconditional support.
HIPS also serves street sex workers through our counseling and referral program which provides services ranging from obtaining a legitimate ID card to finding emergency shelter for young people fleeing abusive relationships. 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. HIPS Foot Patrol addresses the HIV prevention and health needs of an especially marginalized population, young men on the street. 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 empowering people on the streets.