Oregon officials will make nearly $600,000 in federal funding available to local strippers and sex workers of color who have lost income because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Oregonian reported.
The grant will provide up to $1,600 for rent, $500 for utilities and $150 for Internet services to 75 people. An additional 200 applicants will receive a mail-in coronavirus test and a test for sexually transmitted infections, as well as health products including face masks, hand sanitizer and pulse oximeters.
Haymarket Pole Collective, a Portland-based organization that advocates for Black and Indigenous adult-entertainment workers, will administer the grant to people who earn money “using their or other people’s sexuality to financially assist themselves,” Cat Hollis, Haymarket’s founder, told the Oregonian. She said Black, Indigenous and transgender applicants, as well as those who are homeless or live with minor dependents, will receive priority.
The relief funding is part of $45 million in health equity grants that Oregon officials plan to distribute to nonprofit organizations and tribal governments across the state to address the pandemic’s disproportionate effect on those tribal communities and communities of color.