Yes, gratefully, CASH is still very much open!

The good news! During COVID, Community Against Sexual Harm (CASH)
creatively and passionately found ways to remain open. “We haven’t
closed one day and, in fact, we opened more.” according to Executive
Director Terri Galvan. “We added more hours during the heat wave,
increased our street outreach to make sure people know what help is
available.”
“Other organizations Switched to providing e services via ZOOM,
limiting their human contact. Government and nonprofits – everything
just shrunk down. We made a decision early on to stay open; that we
would adjust. It was important for us to figure it out – so it was less
scary for everyone. For many of our clients, ZOOM simply isn’t an
option.”
CASH was created in 2008 by Sacramento Police officers, former sex
workers, Sacramento State professors, Oak Park residents and Stockton
Boulevard Partnership in response to an increase in prostitution activity
and the futile cycle of arrests, re-arrests, and imprisonment. A needs
assessment identified a “safe and non-judgmental” space where
women could receive support, referrals, food, and basic health care
assistance. As a result, the Center for Women was created to meet
these important needs for commercially sexually exploited women.
CASH’s Center for Women is open Monday – Friday, 1pm to 5pm. When
COVID-19 hit, the staff started working in shifts, just two at a time,
taking all their guidance from the county. “People were still fed –
people count on us for food. Many women didn’t understand what was
happening with the pandemic. Not everyone watches the news. We
were there explaining about the virus and handing out masks. We
brought water and hand sanitizers. People were very grateful for the

masks and information. Part of our role early-on was to make sure
people knew how to be safe and always making sure we were
prepared.”
Remarkably, the virus hasn’t affected the people CASH works with –
people have stayed relatively well. Everyone comes in – they wash their
hands for 20 seconds without prompting, they social distance because
CASH taught them. Nothing stopped. Women are still having babies;
still dealing with human trafficking. They had to be there Terri
acknowledged.
The CASH Center for Women secured CARES Act Funding to help keep
them afloat. With so many unknowns fundraising efforts have shifted.
“To watch this pandemic come and the strength of having this open
door, it’s so necessary. Having people appreciate that change takes
time. That harm reduction comes from people being a little safer. If we
just had more open doors where you can actually wash your hands and
be treated with dignity. We’re just one tiny little place, in one corner in
Sacramento. It’s the only safe place many women have. Before the
pandemic, my commitment was always 100 percent but, now,
understand even more that Drop In Centers are really needed. The
Center is designed to be there for people – with women. Can we fling
open some more doors and provide help? The funds are out there, but
there are time limits and the clock is ticking. We need to help people
today and make a good plan for the future.”
Until the answers come, CASH Center for Women is open and serving
the community.

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