Women Only

Santa Cruz Needle Exchange in it’s infancy began on what participants dubbed the “hooker stroll”, a local cruise at the time known for prostitution. From their inception, the SCNEP volunteers were taking their cues from the experts - responding to the voiced needs of the women that they served.
Early female run programs such as SCNEP were instrumental in framing the conversation around the decriminalization of sex work. The prostitutes' rights movement had been launched in 1973 by Margo St. James of COYOTE in San Francisco. In 1998 the St. James Infirmary was the first program focused exclusively on providing healthcare services to sex workers. Northern California agencies such as SCNEP and SJI were some of the earliest advocates focusing on the human rights of those involved in sexual labor.