Skip to comments.Shelters slowly adapt to help transgender homeless
Posted on 04/03/2009 7:27:06 AM PDT by Zakeet
Twelve years heading the Salvation Army's downtown homeless shelter had done little to prepare Janeane Schmidt for the recent night when a soft-spoken biological male transitioning into a female walked in.
Schmidt didn't want to refuse someone in need. Having seen few such cases, however, and with limited space that winter night, she wasn't sure where to place the transgender woman. The shelter has space for homeless men and women but not anyone in between.
"Rather than turn them away, we give them a cot," said Schmidt, whose staff allowed the woman to stay a week in the shelter's lounge the only space they could find.
"I don't even know of another shelter that takes the transgendered" in Atlanta, Schmidt said.
Nationwide there are plenty of holes in the safety net of shelters that catches men and women who have fallen on hard times. Activists say help is even harder to find for the transgender homeless, whose nontraditional gender status raises questions about sleeping arrangements and shower facilities.
The people who run the shelters are taking note.
From Phoenix to New York, shelters have fine-tuned policies to recognize preferred gender over birth gender, as they balance the needs of their mainstream clients with those of an unconventional segment of the homeless.
Activists point to the deaths of homeless transgender women in Atlanta and Austin, Texas, to underscore the need for shelter for all. Shelters in both cities are revamping acceptance policies and weighing the creation of trans-friendly space.
The Atlanta Union Mission is considering expanding one or more of its six area shelters, in part to accommodate transgender people.
"We don't know if we need an entirely different facility," spokeswoman Voloria Pettiford said. "We don't know how to meet that need, but there's a need."
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Reva Iman is tall and busty with arms full of jingling bracelets and broad shoulders that betray her birth gender. She said she began living and working on the street after being shut out of jobs when she first came to Atlanta.
"The street life of escorting and prostitution, that became my main line of survival," said Iman, who avoided shelters that demanded she dress "like a man" to spend the night.
"You can't be yourself," she said.
Will someone please post a picture of Helen Thomas? I need to rinse my eyes with something less caustic.
It also doesn’t help that they are not treated as mentally ill but what can we expect when the inmates are running the asylum.
I expect that there are at least two, maybe three dozen of these people nationwide.
Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)
LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)
Thing is, if he/she had that expensive surgery, some government agency probably paid for it. And now she/he is homeless? After figuring out how to work the system for thousands? I don’t understand.
A lot I don’t understand. How incomprehensible this transgender stuff is. Imagine having the main focus of your life your plumbing.
Agenda driven “journalists” have quotas to make, ya know.
Mentally ill, you say? BINGO!!!
Another charity off MY list.
he/she went for the jay leno chin.
One of the main issues is that GBLTQ community are so good about telling the rest of the 95% to 90% percent of the straight community that they should give their tax money, charitable contributions, and time to care for these folks, but they do nothing for the Transgendered.
The dirty little secret is that in the strictly Gay Male and Lesbian Communities look down on the Transgendered with disdain, they will tell you one thing on the street but secretly they hold disdain for the Trannies (Those only playing dress up, Drag Queens, Drag Kings, excepted).
You would think some of their Gay community groups would have a special homeless shelter of their own to deal with this, but instead they just bitch that the rest of the mostly straight society should deal with it. Yeah, just pass it on to the normal folk to do the actual work of supporting them.
I have sympathy for those who are truly transgendered, those who have been born with Chromosome issues, or ambiguous genitalia, etc.... Because those people are not only discriminated against by regular folk but also are secretly discriminated behind their backs by the people in the Gay and Lesbian community. The Same people who are supposedly on their side when it suits them to be.
can she/he still wear the tiara in the shelter?