The following case studies represent the diversity of work we’ve performed and supported across our programming – and what our clients have to say about it!
RHJ consultant, Justice designed and facilitated a statewide group of queer and trans people of color who use drugs (QTPOCWUD) in Michigan to develop recommendations for reaching and meaningfully including QTPOCWUD in harm reduction programing for the Family Values Network and Michigan Harm Reduction. Facilitated by Reframe, this advisory group met virtually three times to identify systemic barriers to care and envision inviting and accessible drug user health services. To see the full list of recommendations and next steps, click here or head to our resource page.
As part of a collaborative effort to roll out syringe service programs across Maryland, Sasanka worked with the state and local health departments, as well as people who use/d drugs, in Maryland to coordinate and evaluate a 80-hour training program for new SSP staff. Some of these staff were brand new to harm reduction; others were experienced service providers with lived experience using drugs in different communities across MD. Sasanka met weekly with a core team of consultants who use drugs and MDH staff to curate the curriculum, which included speakers from national level TA providers and local experts. RHJ evaluated the effectiveness of the training through a final skills/knowledge assessment, as well as a qualitative evaluation of participant experiences.
Kate and Justice supported the Public Defender’s Association by providing an in-depth policy and landscape analysis related to sex work and anti-trafficking law and programming in Seattle/ King County, WA. Data and policy review were combined with service provider interviews and interviews with street-based sex workers who use drugs to guide social service expansion and policy reform initiatives. The resulting report discussed the legal landscape, identified the needs of impacted communities, and provided recommendations for how to expand and deepen programming in tandem with legal reform.
Kate currently co-chairs a national federally focused working group of predominantly LGBTQ and HIV organizations that focus on policies and issues impacting sex workers across the country. In this space, updates in policy and major issues are analyzed and shared with interested advocates from aligned fields who are seeking more awareness of issues impacting people who trade sex. Participating advocates can receive this information through monthly legislative calls or through email updates, as well as ask for more information and tools to engage in advocacy. Local sex worker advocates and field experts are also brought in to develop a deeper understanding of how legislation impacts people who trade sex. The network of dedicated advocates has been growing since 2015.
Every year, the Department of State requests information from individuals and groups working with people who have experienced trafficking. In 2020, Kate convened a group of organizers from across the country working with sex working populations to develop a coordinated response. The project involved capacity building for these organizers to understand the administrative process and benefit of this work, gathering information on their experiences, and drafting a final document to inform State Department staff on the experiences of sex working communities and individuals of anti-trafficking efforts being carried out across the country. The report informed both staff and some of the issues identified were reflected in the final report from the Department of State.
Reframe Health and Justice, in collaboration with Healing Equity, coordinated a pilot program for the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors. The Racial Equity Collaborative for Drug User Health created a supportive space for fifteen cross-career stage and cross-sector Black, Indigenous, Asian, and Latine people navigating the landscape of governmental, nonprofit, research, and philanthropic fields that support the health of people who use drugs. The Collaborative was developed to support BIPOC harm reductionists around the United States, who have historically lacked sufficient institutional resources to hold leadership positions in health departments, community-based organizations, and everywhere in between. The pilot program included 10 virtual facilitated sessions, a mentorship program, and a small grant for each participant to pursue a harm reduction/racial equity project of their choice.
Kate worked with Fenway Health’s Harm reduction program to understand the needs of sex workers who were seeking services in their facilities in a one-day, comprehensive training. This training used harm reduction philosophies understand people trading sex, and their needs from service providers, with an understanding of the ways that new populations transform spaces and outlooks. Topics included understandin where sex workers experience harm and vulnerabiliy, and identified potential shifts to make services more welcoming and inclusive, and additional resources which could be shared with community members.
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