A History of Project Weber/RENEW
Two programs. One story of support and progress.
It began in 2003
On Christmas Day in 2003, Roy Weber, a young sex worker in Providence was found shot dead.
Tribute to a tragedy
Rich Holcomb and James Waterman begin Project Weber in Providence in 2008. The only organization in the United Stated dedicated exclusively to addressing the needs of male sex workers.
Communities begin the work
In 2005, the Pawtucket Central Falls Development Corporation, in partnership with both communities police departments, create Project RENEW
In 2006, RENEW hired their first outreach worker to support female sex workers in Pawtucket and Central Falls. Within 2 years, prostitution arrest rates drop 90%in both cities.
In 2013, Project Weber opened it's drop-in center allowing it to more directly serve and educate their clients. The same year, RENEW partnered with Amos House and expanded services to Providence for the first time.
Coming together for one mission
In March of 2016 the two organizations agreed to merge, in order to serve the full range of sex workers and high risk women and men, including transgender sex workers, while reducing administrative overhead. The newly merged organization is currently going through a strategic planning process in order to assist with the merge, and therefore has not officially changed its name yet, but unofficially we are calling it “Project Weber/RENEW” (PWR).
Since it's founding, Project Weber has enrolled 213 men, providing peer-led street outreach, basic needs, HIV prevention and testing, needle exchange, and support groups
Since 2006 RENEW has served over 500 women, providing peer-led street outreach, basic needs, HIV prevention and testing, and case management.