Arizona: Program Helps Prostitutes Get Off Drugs, the Street
August 4, 2005
Since the Sol Program, or Soluciones entre la Comunidad, at the Cope Women's Center in Tucson opened a year ago, about 800 women have used its services. The group aids women who trade sex for drugs or money, says Sol Team Leader Marilyn Valencia. City Councilmember Kathleen Dunbar, who represents the local district, was instrumental in getting the center open, and Tucson police agreed to refer sex workers to it.
Sol offers its clients classes on STDs, health, self-esteem, goal-setting, addiction, relapse prevention, and anger management, among other topics. In addition, the program offers GED and housing assistance, job training, health services, and acupuncture therapy to help reduce anxiety and cravings during detoxification.
Women participate in the free program for three months on average, said Valencia, one of five staff members. Sol cannot say for sure how many women go back to the streets because participation is voluntary, she said. Some clients visit daily; others come by every couple of months. Police who arrest prostitutes tell them about Sol and its free services; however, participants accused of criminal violations must still answer those charges.
08.03.2005; Alexis Huicochea
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.