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By Location Alaska Albuquerque Allentown Amsterdam Anaheim Anchorage Ann Arbor Atlanta Austin Baton Rouge Bend Binghamton Boston Boulder Canada Cardiff Charlotte Chatsworth Chicago Chippenham Cleveland Columbia SC Columbus Dallas Denver Des Moines Detroit Edmonton Eugene Fayetteville Fort McMurray Fredericton Gainesville Glendale Great Falls Greensboro Harbor City Harrisburg Hawaii Hawthorne Hollywood Honolulu houston Ithaca Kalkaska Kelowna Koreatown Las Vegas Lima London London (Canada) Los Angeles Louisville Manchester Miami Minneapolis/St Paul Montreal Nashville New Orleans New York City Nickelsville Norway Oakland Ocala Oslo Ottawa Oxford Paradise Pasadena Peru Philadelphia Phoenix Pine Ridge Pittsburgh Portland Reseda Sacramento Salt Lake City San Diego San Francisco San Jose San Luis Obispo Santa Monica Saskatoon Seattle Shawnee Skid Row Springfield St John's St Louis St. Petersburg Syracuse Tacoma Tampa Toronto Traverse City Tulsa United Kingdom Vancouver Venice Beach Vermont Victoria Wales Washington DC Wentzville Westwood Wichita Wilmington Winnipeg Yellowknife By topic Addiction Advocacy Affordable housing Art and Music Awareness Charity Cold Weather College Students Community Involvement Coronavirus Couch Surfing Couple Criminalization Data Disabled Divorce Domestic violence Drug testing Education Employment Eviction Ex-convict Faith based Families Family conflict Female Financial crisis Foster care Harm reduction Health care HIV/AIDS Homeless count Homeless deaths Hostels (UK shelters) Hotels Housing First HUD Human trafficking Identification Incarceration Indigenous Invisible People Invisible Stories Job loss K2/Spice (Synthetic Marijuana) LGBT Libraries Lived Experience Male Mental illness Mobile Homeless Natural disasters NIMBY Outreach Panhandling Peer Support Pets Poverty Pregnant PTSD Public Feeding Racism Recycling Relationships Research Rural Schools Seniors Sex Offenders Sex Worker Shelters Single Parent Social Media Social Security Socks Solutions Street Soccer Survival sex System Failure Systems Change Technology Tent Cities Tiny Homes Transgender Travelers Veteran Vietnam Veteran Violence Waiting list Welfare Working poor Youth EVENTS @home contests PBS road trip road trip 2009 road trip 2010 road trip 2011 road trip 2013 to fight youth homelessness sober birthday campaign SXSW TEDx INTERVIEWS Learn More Canadian Homelessness Coronavirus and Homelessness Criminalization of Homelessness Family Homelessness Homeless Seniors Homeless Veterans Homeless Youth Homelessness Mobile Homelessness Panhandling Tent Encampments U.K. Homelessness MISCELLANEOUS 360 video Awards Cause Marketing Dream Center Gates Foundation Google Glass Media Patreon Tribute World Trade Center YouTube More Updates

San Francisco Opens First Transgender Homeless Shelter

San Francisco skyline

Advocates Are Hopeful This First of a Kind Home Will Inspire More to Open Across the Country

“Housing affordability and homelessness continue to impact our most marginalized communities, including our trans community members, who are 18 times more likely to experience homelessness.”

— San Francisco Mayor London Breed

San Francisco, a beacon for the North American transgender community, opened the country’s first trans-specific homelessness shelter last month. One of every two trans people in the city have experienced homelessness. This facility aims to meet the specific needs of this demographic giving them the support they need to find permanent housing.

Invisible People has explored the issue of LGBTIQ+ homelessness before. This group faces unique challenges that present disadvantages in traditional homeless services models.

A 2019 study on LGBTIQ+ homelessness reveals that while this group makes up 20-40% of the homeless population at any given time, they often don’t enjoy as many benefits as other homeless demographics. The study then dives into shelter inaccessibility, pointing out some significant flaws and limitations. “Shelters are intended to be a place of support and refuge for people experiencing homelessness. However, for LGBTIQ+-identifying people, they can be a site of vulnerability and danger.”

Why Are Shelters So Dangerous?

Undertrained staff members

Despite the high numbers, service providers are often uneducated about how to care for the unique needs of LGBTIQ+ homeless people. The lack of training can lead to homophobic remarks and a lack of intervention when homophobic discrimination occurs within shelters.

Inadequate services

Homeless shelters, historically lacking in adequate services, exhibit an even greater dearth in services directed to serve the needs of those that identify as non-hetero/cisnormative. For example, LGBTIQ+ people are often denied access to their gender identity, or excluded all together from single-gender shelters.

Gender-based placement increases vulnerability to violence

Bed assignments based on anatomic sex can put those that don’t identify as their birth gender in danger. This leaves non-cis people at risk of aggression and sexual assault from those around them.

Beyond initial bed accessibility issues, the umbrella issue is this: Shelters are usually the first step toward getting access to secure housing.

When trans people are denied access to shelters, whether due to their own safety-danger ratio or being barred entry by shelter workers, they’re being denied the quickest path to permanent housing and getting back on their feet.

That’s where The Trans Home comes in.

The city’s first transgender-specific transitional housing program for adults will house and support 13 residents, each in their own room. Accommodations also include three kitchens and a common living space. Residents can live in the space rent-free for one year. During that time, they will receive support to obtain permanent housing.

“Increasing housing and ensuring equity across our city is my top priority … This new program will provide trans people with the safety and support they [need] as they find a permanent home in San Francisco,” explained Mayor Breed.

Thirteen residents may seem like an insignificant number of people to help. However, the truth is for those 13 people, this opportunity may be life changing—if not lifesaving.

Sarah McBride, a member of the Human Rights Campaign, says that “for far too many transgender people who are struggling with housing insecurity, safe and affirming shelter remains out of reach.”

For 13 transgender people in San Francisco, safe housing is now within their grasp.

McBride is hopeful that other cities will follow suit. A whole community of Americans is holding their breath.


Micah Bertoli

Micah Bertoli

  

Micah Bertoli is a Medical Laboratory Technologist and freelance writer. He is passionate about volunteer work, spending much time helping displaced people settle into their new environments.

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