Our House Walton’s Streetwise Project was established in 2005, taken over by Our House in June 2021 and is helping to support some of the most vulnerable sex workers living and working in Central and North Liverpool. Streetwise currently operates as a mobile Harm Reduction Unit that operates every Friday and Saturday evening until early hours, when all other services have closed for the weekend, and often very early mornings before school traffic begins.
It goes to the red light areas to support sex workers and reduce risks by offering support service, giving emergency assistance to workers including emergency food, condoms, referrals to specialist agencies, protection and clothing. We help to support over 140 sex workers including woman, men and transgender living and working in difficult circumstances.
The sex workers come from a variety of different backgrounds, many will be struggling with addiction after suffering from complex family and social upbringings, We are working closely with local police and both statutory and voluntary projects Streetwise is part of a coordinated approach to offer holistic support to these vulnerable individual and reduce their risks.
The Streetwise project is delivered by a group of volunteers who are passionate about protecting and supporting sex workers living and working in our city. Most of our volunteers will come from a professional background including nurses, doctors, emergency services, teachers, and military services. Up to 20 volunteers will deliver emergency advice and support every Friday and Saturday night covering 4 main areas including Walton, Anfield, Kensington and City Centre.
We currently work closely with representatives across the Liverpool City Region including Merseyside Police, Red Umbrella, The Pearls Project, Axess & We Are With You Drug and Alcohol Service We liaise often with Careline Liverpool, Adult Social Services, hostels and other Recovery Services and offer Information & signposting on alcohol, drugs, housing, domestic violence, sexual health, working safety, hate crime & exploitation. Streetwise works in identifying risks in terms of safeguarding by referring to appropriate agencies, protecting and reporting abuse and exploitation, including sexual violence and trafficking.
The services provided at Our House Walton is delivered by a team of dedicated volunteers. We rely on donations to enable us to help the most vulnerable in our community to access support that is right for them.
We are currently seeking support to enable us to refurbish the Streetwise bus in order to allow more partner agencies to deliver harm reduction initiatives to the vulnerable clients.
These would include Blood Born Virus testing, giving flu jabs etc. Our aim is to also carry a large amount of information leaflets to allow for effective signposting and referral to external support agencies.
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