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Monday, December 5, 2022

SF Mayor seeks to eliminate homelessness for Transgender people

lack of housing for transgender people

The Mayor of San Francisco, London N. Breedannounced a plan in its two-year budget proposal that includes $6.5 million to end homelessness for trans and gender non-conforming people (TGNC) over the next five years. 

The plan makes San Francisco the first U.S. city to commit to ending homelessness for TGNC people.

"Transgender, non-binary and gender nonconforming people in San Francisco are eighteen times more likely to be homeless compared to the general population, and we know the rates are even higher for our trans minority communities," said Mayor Breed. 

At a press conference, she noted that with one of the largest TGNC populations in the country, "not only must we ensure that all San Franciscans have access to essential housing and resources through continued investment, but we can show the country that we continue to be leaders in supporting and protecting our trans communities."

With an estimated 400 TGNC residents homeless at any given time, implementation of this plan will address the homelessness crisis within TGNC communities, particularly as it affects African American, Native American, Latina and other trans women of color. 

The plan to end trans homelessness will build on the successful model of Our Trans Home SF, the first TGNC-focused housing program in the nation, which Mayor Breed founded in 2019.

"The TGNC community is at unique risk of homelessness, violence and poverty, and these investments are critical to advancing the city's equity strategies to improve services for the most vulnerable members of our community," Shireen McSpadden, executive director of the San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, said at the time. 

The Mayor's next two-year budget includes the following investments: at least 150 long-term housing subsidies through the City's Flexible Housing Subsidy Program (FHSP).

In addition to procurement and operations for a new Permanent Supportive Housing site for TGNC and LGBQ+ youth, with a focus on Transition Age Youth - TAY; $6 million over two years dedicated to funding short-term rental subsidies, flexible financial assistance, and capacity building support among nonprofit providers serving TGNC residents.

Also, $500,000 to fund behavioral health services for TGNC individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, building on the $500,000 investment that already supports homeless trans youth.

"This is an innovative initiative that meets the needs of transgender and gender non-conforming people who are uniquely vulnerable to a variety of health and safety challenges associated with homelessness," Supervisor Matt Dorsey noted. 

"Ending trans homelessness in the next five years is a worthy and ambitious goal. I am committed to being a full partner on the Board of Supervisors to make it a success, and I hope this program will provide a roadmap for similar initiatives in cities across the country and around the world," he added.

The principle of ending trans homelessness by 2027 means that the existing trans homeless community would be stabilized and housed for the next five years, and any future trans people who become homeless would have the resources and support to secure housing quickly, making any instances of homelessness brief and rare. 

Thus, the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH) will work with TGNC residents, TGNC service organizations and OTI to integrate the plan to end trans homelessness into the City's homelessness strategic plan. 

The plan to end trans homelessness will be a collaborative effort between the Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD), the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (MSM), the Department of Public Health (DPH), the Office of Transgender Initiatives (OTI), and nonprofit organizations that serve TGNC people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. 

You may be interested in: San Mateo County proposes $3.4 billion dollars budget for fiscal year 2022-23

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