By: JV Staff
Despite cutting $5 billion from the recently passed 2021 budget for New York City, the city council has decided to allocate more than $4 million in services for sex workers this year, according to a report in the NY Post.
The Council allocated money for sex workers for the first time last year.
Because of the financial stresses connected with the coronavirus pandemic, the city had no choice but to slash funding to social service agencies, but non-profit organizations that focus on providing services to prostitutes say they need financial support more than ever. The city has seen a revenue shortfall of $9 billion this year due to the pandemic, according to the Post report.
The Post reported that the $4 million will be spent for outreach to sex workers as well as pay vendors for legal services. job training, housing and medical care.
Sean Coleman, executive director of the Bronx LGBTQ Center Destination Tomorrow, told the Post that, “Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen an influx of sex workers who are reaching out asking for assistance with paying rent, utilities and food.” Coleman’s $460,000 contract with the city was renewed in the 2020-2021 budget, according to the Post report.
Moreover, the organization known as Sanctuary for Families will be receiving renewed funding from the city council to the tune of $500,000.According to the Post report, the organization will use some of the money for the new Empower Center that provides a variety of social services to prostitutes such as healthcare. Those employed in the sex trade are also receiving support from New York City’s public hospital system as the council has designated $700,000 for this specific purpose.
The $4.38 million in funding will decrease slightly to $4.1 million in 2021, as was reported by the Post.