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The Joanna Project: a faith-based project, supporting street sex workers in Leeds

Erika Ann Laredo, Ros M. Chiosso


This case study focusses on the work of the Joanna Project (JP); a small, faith-based project, which supports street sex workers in Leeds. This study will explore some of the challenges arising when working with this service user group and some of the ways in which the values of radical community development can make a successful contribution towards tackling the systemic disadvantage and disempowerment experienced by women who sell sex. The workers at Joanna Project have an explicit commitment to work with the marginalized and dispossessed.  It is their Christian beliefs that in turn feedback into the project and have helped to create a strong and consciously realised identity which forms the core of the project’s philosophy and identity. Working with this group of marginalised and stigmatised women, by simply valuing the person for herself, is an important act of humanity and helps, in that moment, to give back some of dignity or love that life on the streets may have stripped away. The fundamental nature of the work is relational, with an emphasis on building positive relationships based on unconditional positive regard for another human being.

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