COVID relief grants available for Oregon sex workers

Coronavirus

Applications will remain open until November 15 or until funding is depleted

PORTLAND, OREGON – MAY 01: A dancer waves a sign in front of The Lucky Devil during the Drive-thru on May 01, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. The strip club offers drive thru dances during the Coronavirus Pandemic. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Strippers and sex workers around Oregon can now apply for federally funded COVID relief.

PDX Stripper Strike, the Portland chapter of the Haymarket Pole Collective, was recently awarded nearly $600,000 in a COVID-relief grant from the Oregon Health Authority. The organization is now seeking applications from sex workers who are Black and/or Indigenous, are transgender, live with a minor dependent at their home or are experiencing homelessness.

Meant to help mitigate sex workers’ financial hardships brought on by the pandemic, PDX Stripper Strike will distribute the money in the form of microgrants. Accepted applicants can receive $150 for internet access, $500 for utilities or $1,600 for rent relief.

The group will also send out totes filled with more helpful supplies — including masks, personal hygiene items, household cleaning products, gas and grocery gift cards and even a mail-in COVID-19 test. The totes will be distributed from now until the end of the year.

“[Sex workers] are suffering right now, and they don’t have anywhere to turn,” PDX Stripper Strike Founder Cat Hollis said. “We’re providing educational grants, professional development grants, and direct aid—rent support, food, and hygiene supplies—to sex workers most impacted by prejudice and COVID. Organizations like ours are the only things keeping sex workers from falling through the cracks.”

Applications will remain open until November 15 or until funding is depleted. Applications can be found online in English and in Spanish. For more information, visit the Haymarket Pole Collective website.

Donations can be made online.

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