Street Outreach and Drop-In
|“Outreach is an effective way of achieving an initial engagement with individuals which can then lead to more sustained engagement with specialist or mainstream services.” (Home Office, 2011)|
This is Kairos WWT’s front-line harm reduction provision and primary referral route into our wider services for women involved in street-based prostitution.
Kairos WWT was founded in 1999 when a group of local women decided to reach out to a group of women perceived to be vulnerable and marginalised; women involved in street-based prostitution. It was recognised that there were many complex issues that bound the women to prostitution and that there was a clear need for a dedicated project that could build relationships with the women and broker the provision of mainstream services that often failed to reach and engage them.
To this day, our Street Outreach and Drop-In remains a core element of our service offer, which has evolved and expanded over the past 24 years. Every Wednesday night, a team of Kairos staff and volunteers deliver street-based outreach and drop-in sessions. Women can find us walking the streets of Hillfields, Coventry’s so called ‘red light district’; we feel it is important to walk alongside women on the street. We provide them with food, condoms, information about our services, and most importantly a non-judgmental, compassionate listening ear, with no application of pressure to engage with us, so they can work with us at their own pace. Trusting relationships are built over long periods of time; women learn they can count on us and may gradually open up about their circumstances and the support they need.
Following our outreach sessions, women can join us at a local hall on ‘the frontline’. Our drop-in provision provides a warm, safe space, where women are can access refreshments, sanitary items, clothes, toiletries, harm reduction materials and food bank vouchers. We provide a safe space for women to disclose and/or report sexual violence, other crimes, and/or suspicious behaviour. We can support women to complete ‘Ugly Mug’ reports, access the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), or report to the police. Women will often access this drop-in for respite and a safe place to be heard.
We’re really proud that approximately 75% of women that access Street Outreach and/or Drop-in do go on to access our wider services. We see this provision as a starting point and believe that women involved in prostitution should have the option to access long-term, holistic support that can empower them to build their safety, stability, self-belief, and self reliance, including support to exit prostitution should they wish to.
£25 could pay for a woman accessing Drop-In to have a hot drink, food bag and harm reduction kit. You can donate here today.
To find out more about the Street Outreach and Drop-In provision, read a volunteer’s reflection on the service: