Help assist the growing Trans community create and build a Transsexual Empowerment Shelter based in Los Angeles
With a growing trans population and an economy struggling there is now more of a need then ever for a shelter/empowerment center that is exclusively for the economically challeged transsexual community that exists in Los Angeles.
Currently there are only a few programs that cater to the trans communities needs, but these particular programs are only for seniors, addicts, juveniles and those with HIV/AIDS. Tragically many of trans people in the population are being neglected and surviving the streets alone and with great personal risk. Putting into perspective the high rates of unemployment, abuse and suicide trans people contend with, it is important to have a shelter that can accommodate the needs of those seeking refuge from the streets and hostile environments that often occur in local area shelters.
There are many homeless or "couch hopping" trans people who are just low income or disabled with a low income and they are not covered by any services in the trans community. My experiences with local shelters as a transwoman has been challenging, I listen to the testimonies of other trans men and women on the streets, recalling their experiences at local area shelters and I learn about what went wrong for them, then I think about and discuss with them what can be done better.
Our idea for a hybrid shelter involves two important elements : Empowerment and Community Supportive Services.
The idea is simple.... A shelter that is geared towards economic independence and viability. To do so, I have an idea that merges education and employment skill building with shelter living. We start out with a shelter that already provides temporary housing for those with disabilities, some who are already on SSI or General Relief who need longterm housing. (Many of the disabled clients will choose to volunteer or work with others in community building.) Now imagine we combine that shelter with an Empowerment Center which has an onsite culinary program, where clients of the shelter can earn a degree while preparing daily healthy meals for those in shelter. We would have an onsite thift store that clients would run and aquire important skills such as Management, Customer Service, organization and more. We can expand on that and have an onsite beauty school and small studio lab for artists in the film, music and gaming fields. All of these could be created to assist the diverse population with meeting their potential and finding gainful employment while they transition through the program.
We need a shelter like this because our community is growing and we have more federal funding being allocated to trans needs than ever before thanks to the hard work and visibility other amazing trans people and supporters have advocated for but much of it is currently being misused by some of the Los Angeles LGB run non profits and should be used more responsibly for Trans people by Trans people.
With a conglomerate Non-Profit like PATH spear-heading the construction and assisting with operations at the Trans Empowerment Shelter we would be allowed to have our own identity and utilize our own federal grant and funding money to create more services for Transsexual and Intersex people.
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