WOMEN'S PROGRAMMING

We offer women's-only programming twice a week.  We provide educational and harm reduction materials, connections to various organizations and resources around Seattle, and a kind, non-judgmental space for women to rest and be known.  The Aurora Commons offers the only drop-in space on North Aurora directly serving women who are commercially sexually exploited, many of whom are drug dependent.  We have developed relationships with over 135 women who work along Aurora.  Aurora Commons is part of the CEASE Network and a part of the Adult Survivor's Collaborative with OPS, REST, and the YWCA.

PEOPLE'S KITCHEN

The People's Kitchen project empowers and dignifies members of our community by providing adequate food supplies, a clean and sterile cooking environment, and access to a fully stocked kitchen, ensuring that all people at the Commons are able to prepare, cook, and share food with one another on a daily basis.

RESOURCE BRIDGING

The Aurora Commons actively builds partnerships with area organizations and housing providers so that through the relationships we build, as we learn stories, we can appropriately bridge our unhoused friends neighbors to the resources they need.

FOOT & WOUND CARE CLINIC

Thanks to a collaborative effort with Puget Sound Christian Clinic and Bethany Community Church, we are able to provide free foot and wound care twice a month to our Aurora neighbors.  1st & 3rd Wednesdays of the month.

CHAPLAIN OF PRESENCE

Our Chaplains of Presence play a crucial role at the Commons.  They extend hospitality through care and conversation so that our guests feel welcomed, safe, and loved.  Through the front lines work of our Chaplains, our Aurora neighbors receive the encouragement and support they need in order to pursue sobriety, housing, employment, escape from the sex trade, etc.


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S.H.E. Clinic

Safe, Healthy, Empowered (S.H.E.) Clinic

At S.H.E. Clinic, we believe everybody needs to be reminded of their goodness. That’s why our purpose is to provide kind, quality, non-judgmental health care to women on Aurora Avenue—to remind them that they are good through helping them care for their bodies.

Everything we do is driven by the women we serve. We empower them to define what they need, and then we provide a beautiful, safe, trauma-informed space to meet those needs. Our roster of trusting female-identified providers empathize with the fear and shame that’s often felt by the women at the Commons, and aim to create a community that helps heal those feelings.


Dr. Shireesha Dhanireddy,  photo by Grace Beck.

Dr. Shireesha Dhanireddy, photo by Grace Beck.

Clinical Services:

- Facilitating enrollment in insurance and registration at UWM
- Family planning and contraceptive services
- Wound Care and abscess drainage
- Labs and imaging
- Foot washing
- Medication management for chronic medical conditions such as Hypertension and Diabetes
- Vaccines
- Sexually Transmitted Infection testing - Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis
- HIV and viral hepatitis screening
- Hepatitis C treatment
- HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
- Referrals to detox, treatment and housing
- Low barrier Buprenorphine, Medicated Assisted Treatment for those with opiate use disorder
- Pre-Natal Care


S.H.E. Clinic Story:

Since Aurora Commons opened in 2011 we have been able to build relationships with hundreds of female identified sex workers who are involved in street based sex work (SBSW) on North Aurora Avenue. We have learned from them that homelessness, poverty, drug dependence, and violent victimization create the need for a variety of health and social services, yet simultaneously serve as barriers to female identified street based sex workers accessing these very services. Barriers include both structural and process factors (e.g.,travel costs, office hours, social stigma) and individual social and clinical factors (e.g.,drug use, mental stability, lack of trust and fear in the traditional healthcare system).

As we continued to witness both the need and barriers to healthcare we began to leverage our relationships at the Commons by directly involving the women in the development and implementation of what we now call the S.H.E. Clinic. S.H.E. Clinic opened in July 2017 and provides a crucial link between UW Harborview Medical Center, Puget Sound Christian Medical Clinic’s (PSCC) mobile healthcare clinic and the Aurora Commons through an innovative, accessible and non-judgmental health care delivery model that is overcoming these barriers.


Healing Arts

Art is one of the ways the Aurora Commons loves this world, the community, the neighbor, and the self. Our art therapy program strives to offer a kind and supportive space for people to create, grow, and dive deep into their hearts. The Aurora Commons provides all the supplies and the space needed to create.  Our art groups have focused on fear, on hope, and on the internal struggle we all face. We offer space for those among of us who are uniquely gifted to teach a class in their area of interest, such as making dream-catchers, beading, drawing, and writing. Aurora Commons art classes focus on performance art, self-portraits, drumming, body work, and all types of visual art.

Materials Used & Needed

Gel Pens (Commons Favorite)
Acrylic Paint, Watercolors, Plastic Paint Pallets
Pencils, Pens, Colored Pencils, Paint Brushes
Watercolor Paper Pads, Writing Notebooks, Drawing Paper
Adult Coloring Books
Elmers Glue & Glue Sticks