Challenges of the Trans Community: Homelessness

Apicha Community Health Center Nov 25, 2015  

This post is part of an ongoing series that examines issues affecting the trans community. For a previous post, go here.

challenges of the trans* community

A serious issue affecting the transgender community, particularly the younger members, is homelessness.

According to a federal study on gay and trans homeless youth, homelessness disrupts a young person’s normal development, often leading to issues in mental and physical health, educational attainment, and behavior.

What are the reasons for the higher risks and rate in the trans* community, and what are some resources and solutions to work towards fixing this problem?

Reasons Affecting the Increased Rate of Homelessness

It is estimated that there are between 1.6 million to 2.8 million homeless youth in the U.S. Of that number, 20 to 40% of homeless youth are gay or transgender, compared to only 5 to 10% of the overall youth population, which is why this is one of the challenges of the trans* community.

Trans youth have a higher risk and vulnerability to becoming homeless because of several factors. These include abuse, neglect, and familial rejection due to sexual orientation or gender identity.

Once trans youth are homeless, they face further obstacles: many run away or are removed from foster car placement due to discrimination related to their sexual or gender identity.


Have you been searching for a trans*care provider? Request an appointment


Often, social services and homeless shelters fail to culturally and appropriately serve them, such as denying them shelter, or placing them in a gendered space they do not identify with.

The statistics paint a stark story: 13.5 is the average age that transgender youth in New York become homeless. And 62% is the portion of homeless gay and transgender youth who attempt suicide, compared to 29% of their heterosexual homeless peers.

Resources and Apicha CHC

Strides have been made to help raise awareness and enact positive changes in helping the trans homeless population.

The National Center for Transgender Equality works with both federal and state agencies to help ensure that trans people are not discriminated in housing and homeless services, and HUD has required grantees, including homeless shelters, to abide by state and local nondiscrimination rules.

The Administration for Children and Families issued the largest ever LGBT focused federal grant to develop a model program to support LGBT foster youth and prevent them from experiencing or returning to homelessness.

In New York City, there are a few great resources for homeless trans youth. Among them is the Ali Forney Center. The Ali Forney Center offers a drop-in Crisis Shelter, Emergency Housing and Transitional Housing for LGBT youth. The transitional housing offers a place for young people to reside for up to two years, while they maintain employment, continue their education and prepare for living on their own.

There is also the True Colors Fund, whose mission is to end homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, creating a world in which young people can be their true selves. The singer Cyndi Lauper is a co-founder and board member. The Fund has programs such as the Forty to None Project, which campaigns to raise awareness about youth homelessness.

In addition to those resources, every second and fourth Tuesday of the month, Apicha CHC offers a Trans Health Clinic, to communities of color in an affirming environment.

This clinic is for the specific needs of transgender and gender non-conforming, gender variant and genderqueer individuals.

Our Trans Health services include:

  • Personalized Primary Healthcare
  • Routine Check-Up and Immunization
  • Initiation and Maintenance of Hormone Therapy
  • Short-Term Mental Health Services
  • Care Management
  • Trans Groups

In addition to those Health services, the Clinic also offers closed group sessions on topics such as transitioning and relationships. To sign up for our Trans Orientation Session, call 212-334-6029.

Transgender Resources

 


Ready to take action about your health?
 request an appointment

Subscribe For Updates

Early Signs of HIV

Early Signs of HIV

Early HIV is the beginning stage of HIV disease, right after HIV infection occurs. If you were not...
Transgender Sexual Health Guide: Safer Sex

Transgender Sexual Health Guide: Safer Sex

When it comes to sex, there’s a serious lack of resources available to transgender people that...
What you need to know about PrEP, the HIV Prevention Pill

What you need to know about PrEP, the HIV Prevention Pill

  What You Need to Know About PrEP PrEP or pre-exposure prophylaxis, the HIV prevention pill, has...
Using Hook-Up Apps in 2017: Emotional Health

Using Hook-Up Apps in 2017: Emotional Health

"Using Hook-up Apps in 2017" is a series addressing issues of safety, racism, and emotional health....
PrEP and Vacation: Best Practices for Staying on top of Your PrEP

PrEP and Vacation: Best Practices for Staying on top of Your PrEP

Before you know it, summer will be here (it kind of already is). That means vacation and traveling!...
Attention: Important Notice for SNAP Recipients About Your February Benefits

Attention: Important Notice for SNAP Recipients About Your February Benefits

Because of the federal government shutdown, most SNAP recipients will receive their February SNAP...
New York Passes Historic GENDA Legislation Protecting Transgender Community

New York Passes Historic GENDA Legislation Protecting Transgender Community

This week, the New York legislature passed historic transgender anti-discrimination law. Commonly...
Governor Cuomo Announces Proposal to Raise Tobacco & E-Cigarette Sales Age

Governor Cuomo Announces Proposal to Raise Tobacco & E-Cigarette Sales Age

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a proposal to raise the minimum sales age for tobacco and...
Mayor de Blasio Announces Plan to Guarantee Health Care for all New Yorkers

Mayor de Blasio Announces Plan to Guarantee Health Care for all New Yorkers

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his administration will launch the largest, most comprehensive plan...
Substance Abuse 101: Marijuana

Substance Abuse 101: Marijuana

Marijuana is another substance that is commonly abused. Although some states have legalized its...