***Skid Row Stroll OUTREACH team***

10 May


putting the O in SWOP-LA!!!

putting the O in SWOP-LA!!!

Armed with bags of lube, different types of condoms, candy and snack packs of chips (yes candy, East Coast outreach orgs have given us this tip…especially sexy lollipops are very popular).  We also had in the bags the flyer for our bi-weekly needle exchange sex worker group, which last week, when we weren’t giving away the free phones had only 1 person…Hopefully, this Monday, we’ll have more than 1.  SWOP-LA has a worker only support meeting on Sunday, and I am going to ask some of the people there if they want to go out and do some more outreach.  Most everyone was excited to see us.  We decided to do our first outreach mission with big OUTREACH signs on the sides of our cars and rolling up on the workers like we were clients.  We had a a team of college students from CSULA, Pasadena City and some new SWOP team members who heard about what we do on the meetup and has become quite active right away!  It was very successful considering for most of us who had no experience doing night outreach or outreach to the Skid Row population.  Staying in our cars, and occasionally getting out to hand out kits and talking to the workers was great.  I know many had anxiety about going and were concerned about our safety, but we notified the Central Station Watch Commanders office that we would be going out, and they sent out an “Attention All Units” message over the CB they said!  Just like Hill Street Blues!!

We want to do this weekly so that they start to get to know us.  Some of the homeless were laughing at our signs, and one of the women on the street was misconstrued as working girl and got angry at us for thinking that…


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