The Prostitution Project: Community-Based Research on Sex Trading in North Minneapolis.
In 2005, a group of north Minneapolis stakeholders became fed up with the sex trade taking place on the streets of their community and were determined to see these transactions stop, or at least to happen somewhere else. At the time, the voices and experiences of those who trade sex were not yet part of the community discussion about how to stop prostitution. This article focuses on survey results from more than 150 adults who traded sex in North Minneapolis, as well as interviews with more than 400 residents, businesses, police and probation officers, activists, advocates, health professionals, and other community stakeholders on the Northside about their views of and experiences with prostitution. It also discusses three of the initiatives that have grown from this research project: the Northside Women’s Space, Gaining Independence for Females in Transition, and Safety on the Streets. These projects show how community-based participatory research has set in motion an organic process of inquiry leading to action, the outcomes of which could not have been designed in advance.