SMS Resources for Sex Workers in New York City

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Mobile Media Midterm Synopsis

For the midterm project, Matt Swenson and Sarah Jenny created an SMS-based resource for those in the sex trade (including those who engage in sex work by choice or circumstance as well as those who are in the sex trade under coercive circumstances such as trafficking). Users the phrase “nyhelp” and their New York City zipcode to 41411 and receive the contact information for the closest social service provider. (Example: 41411 nyhelp 10003) The resource list was carefully crafted after consulting the PROS Network, a coalition of social service providers offering services to sex workers and other marginalized populations from a harm reduction and human rights perspective.

Matt and Sarah researched existing mobile services for sex workers, including the SOROS Foundation’s Open Society Institute collaboration with Tactical Technology Collective. This research informed their work in terms of functionality, usability and the content provided.

About Sarah Jenny

Sarah Jenny is a media maker, cultural producer, activist, and rabble rouser.

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