Posted on: October 26, 2017
In the Dutch city Utrecht, only a handful of prostitutes are active. Yet they cost the community tons of money, reports Dutch newspaper de Telegraaf. This year alone, the municipality has spent 833.226 euros in aid and other services for prostitutes in Utrecht.
Currently, 62 women have a permit for the designated tippelzone (hustle zone), an outdoor are where cars come to pickup prostitutes . Of these 62 women, 26 women are addicted to some type of drugs. They usually live in Lister hostels (specialised in drug addiction and mental care) or at the Army of Salvation. There they get shelter and guidance. The addicted prostitutes who live in hostels can apply for addiction care and relief assistance.
The only place where addicted prostitutes are active is at the designated hustle zone at the Europalaan (Europe Lane). There is also a living room project at the Europe Lane where about 25 to 35 women spend every night. They get shelter during work, can request for help, and a doctor is present twice a week. This project is operated by “de Tussenvoorziening”, a company with various projects that assist prostitutes. De Tussenvoorziening is the largest subsidy applicant with 1.05 million euros. They were awarded a little more than 783.000 euros.
From that amount, long-term projects are also funded. These are projects that, according to their spokesman, require a lot of personalised care. The goal is to support the women who want to leave prostitution.
The local VVD (a conservative-liberal political party in the Netherlands) calls the high costs “ridiculous” and would prefer to close down the hustle zone at the Europe Lane. “Of course, we want women to get out of prostitution as easy as possible. But there’s just too much that goes wrong within prostitution,” said group chairman Dimitri Gilissen to The Telegraph. The hustle zone at the Europe Lane is located on a neglected industrial area. Prostitutes have been active there for thirty years. The municipality has been looking for another workplace for the prostitutes for years, but it has not been able to find a suitable alternative location so far.