Tattoo Removal

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Project Erase is closed until further notice.

Project Erase Tattoo Removal

The Project Erase Program provides safe, low-cost laser tattoo removal for qualifying applicants. Tattoo removal can be an important step towards better employment opportunities, increased self-esteem, recovery from trauma, or improved social mobility. Laser treatments are performed by a dedicated team of volunteer doctors and nurse practitioners.

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Requirements for the Program

Project Erase can remove the following tattoos:

  • Gang or prison-related
  • Hate-related
  • Drug-related
  • Criminal activity-related
  • Domestic violence-related

Tattoo Removal Process

Outside In uses a Quanta Q+C laser to remove tattoos.  The laser is a charged beam of light that passes through the surface of the skin to the ink in the tattoo. The laser breaks up large clumps of ink to form tiny particles. The small particles are then carried away by the skin’s immune system. Sessions are scheduled 6-8 weeks apart to give the immune system time to remove the ink particles.

It generally takes 6-12 sessions to remove a tattoo. The number of sessions depends on the type of ink that was used, how deep the tattoo is, and other factors. We are able to remove most ink colors. For pain management, Outside In uses a Zimmer chiller during treatment.


We operate on a sliding-scale fee system based on income and household size, with costs ranging from $30-$60 per treatment. Our services are reserved for those who fall under 200% of the Federal Poverty Level and whose tattoos align with our program’s purpose of removing social barriers. Below is an example of the chart we use to determine the income portion of eligibility.


People in Household 200% of Federal Poverty Level
1 $2,010/month or $24,120/year
2 $2,707/month or $32,484/year
3 $3,403/month or $40,836/year
4 $4,100/month or $49,200/year
5 $4,797/month or $57,564/year



Success Stories


As a patient at Outside In, the dignity, compassion, and respect that I was shown by staff truly had a lasting impact on me and directly resulted in me wanting to get involved in helping my community.


Outside In made me want to be around excellence. Outside In shaped me. It taught me how to be kind to people less fortunate.


When I came out as trans and reached out to the community for help, everyone had something good to say about Outside In.


Through these connections I was able to get into school and graduate as a Certified Medical Assistant


Through Outside In’s guidance and support, I was in my own apartment completely self-sufficient within a week.


If you met me today, you might never imagine I spent countless nights sleeping under the Burnside Bridge.


I wanted independence and stability. I wanted to belong. I found Outside In.


Housing at Outside In is so much more than a roof over your head. The staff is helpful and amazing. They were always there for us anticipating our needs. Finally, we weren’t hungry anymore and we were safe.


I feel safe at Outside In. I love Outside In people. How they love us, care for us. The wonderful and fresh food, the health care, the accommodations, the hospitalities. People talking to me, listening to me. Changing lives. It is a great moment.


By the time I was 17, I didn't trust anybody...except Outside In. The staff took my concerns seriously, and took a holistic approach. They protected me.