Our Mission

St. James Infirmary is a peer-based occupational health and safety clinic for sex workers of all genders.
It is our mission to meet the needs of people engaged in the sex trade through advocacy, direct services, and social justice.

Sex Worker’s Health, Rights and Safety supported by Governor Newsom and California!

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Sacramento, CA – Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 233 into law - expanding proven local policies that prioritize the health and safety of people in the sex trade. SB 233 authored by Sen. Scott Wiener and sponsored by Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) – Sacramento, St. James Infirmary, Erotic Service Providers Legal, Education, and Research Project (ESLERP), Dr. Alix Lutnick and the US PROStitutes Collective gives sex workers immunity from arrest for sex work-related and minor drug offenses when they come forward as a witness to or as a victim of certain violent crimes. The new law also prohibits condoms from being used as evidence to arrest or prosecute someone for sex work-related offenses.

In addition to the sponsors, SB 233 was supported by broad coalition of advocates from the sex worker rights, harm reduction, LGBTQ rights, public health and HIV advocacy, and criminal justice movements in addition to the San Francisco County, Alameda County and Los Angeles District Attorney’s offices.

Sex workers and trafficking survivors experience and witness alarming rates of violence but too often fear reporting crimes to law enforcement in the event they themselves may be arrested or mistreated by the police. California now joins Alaska and Oregon, as well as the city and county of San Francisco and Berkeley by putting policies into place that prevent sex workers from being arrested when reporting violent crime. “This is a historic day for the sex workers in California. We now have a voice when it comes to reporting our exploitation, rapes, and other acts of violence that we have long had to endure, ” said Kristen DiAngelo, Executive Director of SWOP- Sacramento. “After 40 years in the sex trade, and being trafficked for 10 of those years, I never thought that we would see a change in my lifetime. Allowing sex workers to carry condoms and report violent offenses will be lifesaving, ” said Pearl Callahan, Outreach Director of SWOP- Sacramento.

The criminalization of sex work disproportionately impacts people of color, street-based sex workers and transgender people, with Black street-based sex workers bearing the brunt of harassment, policing and violence as a result. As the crisis of persistent violence against transgender women of color continues to escalate nationwide, the passage of SB 233 takes a critical step towards prioritizing the health and safety of some of the most marginalized Californians. “As an African-American transwoman, I am so glad we have finally gotten rid of the harmful policy of collecting condoms as evidence because of the disproportionate and negative impact on sex workers and transgender people,” said Toni Newman, Executive Director of St. James Infirmary.

The St. James Infirmary community fought for years to ban the use of condoms as evidence, and in 2013 the City of and County of San Francisco finally recognized the practice unsafely discourages sex workers from using them and passed a local policy to prohibit police and prosecutors from using them as evidence in prostitution cases. With the passage of SB 233, police and prosecutors throughout the state will no longer be able use condoms to criminalize individuals in the sex trade. “Simply put, treating condoms as evidence is unsafe. Sex workers deserve the right to safety and to control their working conditions. SB 233 is a commonsense policy change that supports the self-determination and the right of sex workers to protect themselves,” said Arneta Rogers, Reproductive Justice and Gender Equity Attorney at the ACLU of Northern California. A step towards decriminalization, we applaud Governor Newsom for signing this important bill!

SB 233 will take effect in January 2020.

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What We Believe

There are many factors which affect the working conditions and experiences for all Sex Workers including the political and economic climate, poverty and homelessness, stigmatization, violence, as well as the overwhelming intricacies of the legal, public and social systems. It is the philosophy of St. James Infirmary to build upon existing skills and strengths in order to allow individuals to determine their own goals.

  • We are fundamentally against the criminalizing of Sex Workers—regardless of our different perspectives on decriminalization or legalization, the collective view of the St. James Infirmary is that incarceration of our community further marginalizes and disenfranchised us, which creates barriers to capacity building, and exacerbates a public health crisis.
  • We believe in revolution through healthcare. We challenge the conventional healthcare model that divides patients and providers and fosters unhealthy power dynamics. Our peer-based model creates a safe, trusted, and honest environment in which to provide services, and empowers our community to define our own well-being.
  • We are founded on the principles of harm reduction—St. James Infirmary supports Sex Workers being treated with dignity and respect, in every aspect of their lives

Our Impact

  • We increase access to primary healthcare and social services for Sex Workers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • We formalize communication and collaboration among individuals and agencies who serve Sex Workers to better serve our community.
  • We promote peer-based public health initiatives on behalf of Sex Workers, which may be used as a model for improving occupational health and safety standards and developing comprehensive medical and social services for Sex Workers around the world.
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From Our Blog

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Volunteer Orientation Sept 13th & 14th

By Toni Newman | September 1, 2019

Volunteer orientation dates and times Friday Orientation Friday, September 13 11:00am-5:00pm Session I: 11:00am – 1:45 Session 2: 2:15pm- 5:00pm Saturday Orientation Saturday, September 14 11:00am-5:00pm Session I: 11:00am – 1:45 Session 2: 2:15pm- 5:00pm   To join our team and register for a mandatory volunteer orientation submit an online application in english or spanish. If you would like a printable .pdf […]

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St. James Infirmary’s 20th Year Anniversary Gala was a huge success

By Toni Newman | August 27, 2019

St. James Infirmary raised over $150,000. The biggest fundraiser in their 20 year history  

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St. James Infirmary Promotes Anita O’Shea and Myron Parker

By Toni Newman | June 25, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO – June 25, 2019 – PRLog — St. James Infirmary is a peer-based occupational health and safety clinic for sex workers of all genders. It is our mission to meet the needs of people engaged in the sex trade through advocacy, direct services, and social justice. Thanks to their extraordinary efforts during St. James Infirmary’s expansion for our […]

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Jennifer Holliday Performance at 2019 Gala

By Toni Newman | June 25, 2019
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2019 St James Gala Event Video

By Toni Newman | June 25, 2019
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5 vacation trips available for bidding at the St. James Infirmary 20th year anniversary gala on June 2nd

By Toni Newman | May 22, 2019
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St. James Infirmary’s 20th Year Anniversary Gala on June 2, 2019

By Toni Newman | March 20, 2019

St. James Infirmary celebrating 20 years of service on June 2 at Terra Gallery in San Francisco. Celebrating lives saved and improved health for thousands of sex workers and their families in our community. SAN FRANCISCO – March 14, 2019 – PRLog — Throughout the tremendous and tumultuous times of the past twenty years, the fantastic team at St. James […]

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St James Infirmary needs volunteers for the Academy of Friends for the 2019 Gala on 2/24

By Toni Newman | February 14, 2019

St James Infirmary needs volunteers for the Academy of Friends 2019 Gala on Sunday, February 24. St. James Infirmary is a beneficiary this year. Please contact james.martinez@stjamesinfirmary.org to volunteer on behalf of St James Infirmary.  https://academyoffriends2019gala.eventbrite.com/?aff=StJamesInfirmary

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Aria Sa’id named Executive Director of the Compton’s Transgender Cultural District

By Toni Newman | February 4, 2019

San Francisco, CA- The Compton’s Transgender Cultural District is pleased to announce celebrated transgender advocate and award-winning political strategist, Aria Sa’id will lead the Compton’s Transgender Cultural District as Executive Director. Ms. Sa’id is a founder of the world’s first transgender cultural district, in addition to co-founders Honey Mahogany (former Executive Director), Janetta Johnson (Executive Director […]

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St. James Infirmary 20th Year Anniversary Gala

By Toni Newman | February 1, 2019

Tickets – General Admission is $200 per Individual and provides entrance to all of the evening’s festivities. A LIMITED number of After-Party – ONLY tickets will be available four weeks before the event date. After-Party tickets are $50 per Individual. Click Here For Tickets   For Sponsorship Opportunities Click here

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