The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC), has released “Shelter for All Genders": Best Practices for Homeless Shelters, Services and Programs in Massachusetts in Serving Transgender Adults and Gender Non-Conforming Guests.” This guide provides recommendations to agencies working with transgender and gender nonconforming persons in emergency and transitional shelters or services throughout the Commonwealth.
This guide provides recommendations to agencies working with transgender and gender nonconforming persons in emergency and transitional shelters or services throughout the Commonwealth
These recommendations were prepared by the Policy Committee of MTPC and reflect the best practices for inclusive shelters and programs used in other areas of the United States; existing laws, policies, and regulations for shelter systems in other states; and policy recommendations devised by transgender and LGBT think tanks and shelter policy specialists.
A 2009 study by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force reports about 1 in 5 transgender people have been refused housing, and 19% have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives due to transgender-related discrimination. Of transgender people who have tried to access shelters, 55% have experienced harassment by shelter staff or residents, 29% were turned away altogether, and a staggering 22% experienced sexual assault by residents or staff. Furthermore, those trans people in the study who have experienced homelessness were highly vulnerable to mistreatment in public settings, police abuse, and negative health outcomes.
Additionally, the 2011 Institute of Medicine report on the health of LGBT people affirms the significant risk of homelessness among young transgender people. The overwhelming evidence indicates the necessity for safety and accessibility to homeless shelters and programs for transgender and gender non-conforming people. The experiences of homeless transgender people here in Massachusetts reflect the findings from national research.
MTPC applauds Governor Deval Patrick for issuing gender-identity inclusive executive order 526 Order Regarding Non-Discrimination, Diversity, Equal Opportunity, and Affirmative Action in February 2011 and the Massachusetts legislature for the passage of the state law An Act Relative to Gender Identity, which went into effect July 1, 2012. In addition to prohibiting discrimination in employment, education, and credit/lending on the basis of gender identity in Massachusetts, this law extends to housing protections.
Pay as you go: Our web site is free, and we want to keep it that way. Bay Windows turns 31 this year. Will you pledge your support for the upcoming year by contributing funds? Your contribution will help us keep the website and paper free and improve our coverage. Please, if you are able, we welcome your support. Please note - your contribution is not tax deductible.