Breed announces $6.5 million budget plan to end trans homelessness in SF by 2027

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The Mayor of London Breed on Tuesday announced $6.5 million in her proposed budget for a plan to end trans homelessness in San Francisco by 2027.

Breed is expected to unveil its proposed two-year budget on June 1.

According to a press release from his office, the plan to end trans homelessness will be a collaborative effort between the Mayor’s Office for Housing and Community Development, the Ministry of Homelessness and Supported Housing Support, Department of Public Health, Office of Transgender Initiatives, and non-profit organizations serving trans and gender non-conforming people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

The proposal makes San Francisco the first city in the United States to commit to ending homelessness for people in the TGNC, the mayor’s office said. The Board of Supervisors modifies and approves the mayor’s budget proposal before approving the city’s biennial budget on July 1.

The Mayor’s proposed two-year budget includes the following to begin implementing the plan to end trans homelessness: at least 150 long-term housing subsidies through the the city and the acquisition and operation of a new permanent supportive housing site for TGNC and LGBQ+ youth, with a focus on youth in transition

The plan also provides $6 million over two years to fund short-term rental subsidies, flexible financial assistance and support to build capacity for nonprofit providers serving TGNC residents and $500,000 to fund behavioral health services for people in TGNC who are homeless or at risk. homelessness, building on the $500,000 investment that is already supporting trans youth experiencing homelessness, according to the release.

“Transgender, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming San Franciscans are 18 times more likely to be homeless compared to the general population, and we know the rates are even higher for our minority trans communities,” Breed said. . “With one of the largest TGNC populations in the nation, we not only need to ensure that all San Franciscans have access to housing and essential resources through continued investment, but we can show the country that we continue to to be a leader in supporting and protecting our trans community.”

Shireen McSpadden, a bi woman who serves as executive director of DHSH, said the proposed investments “are critical to advancing the city’s equity strategies to improve services for the most vulnerable members of our community.”

According to the mayor’s office, approximately 400 TGNC residents are homeless at any one time. Implementing this plan will address the homelessness crisis within TGNC communities, particularly as it affects Black, Indigenous, Latina and other trans women of color, the mayor’s office said. 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 country, which the mayor announced in 2019. It opened in January 2020, as previously reported by the Bay Area Reporter.

Trans leaders have applauded the proposal, although some of them disagree with Breed over the controversy over San Francisco Pride’s policy banning police officers from marching in uniform during the Pride Parade. After May 23 LGBTQ first responders said they would skip the parade due to the ban, Race and Gay District 6 Supervisor Matt Dorsey said they would not participate in the June 26 parade if San Francisco Pride officials did not reconsider their decision. This led transgender district leaders to say they would not attend Breed’s Pride Flag Raising Ceremony on June 2 at City Hall, as noted by the BAR’s Political Notes column. of May 30.

The Castro LGBTQ Cultural District also said it would skip the flag raising.

Nonetheless, trans leaders have said they agree with Breed’s homelessness plan.

“Given our rich heritage of trans activism, San Francisco is well positioned to lead the country and the world in ending homelessness for trans communities,” said Aria Sa’id, a trans woman who is co -Founder, President and Chief Strategist of the Transgender Neighborhood. “With the continued support of city partners and the guidance of TGNC community leaders and residents, I am confident that we will be successful in solving homelessness for trans San Franciscans over the next five years.

“As trans people, we’ve had to be bold and resilient to even survive, and by ensuring that all of our TGNC residents have a safe place to call home, we’ll open the door to real, fair housing and cost-effective solutions for trans people,” added Saïd.

The principle of ending trans homelessness by 2027 means that the current trans homeless community would be stabilized and housed over the next five years, and any future trans people who become homeless would have the resources and the support needed to find housing quickly, making any case of homelessness brief and rare, according to the town hall. DHSH will work with TGNC residents, TGNC-serving organizations and the Office of Transgender Initiatives to integrate the plan to address trans homelessness into the city’s homelessness strategic plan, the statement said. The strategic plan will be completed this year and will guide future strategy and investments to address homelessness through an equity framework.

Trans leaders noted Breed’s efforts on the TGNC housing issue.

“For the past several years, Mayor Breed has worked tirelessly with the organizations serving the TGNC to identify and address key inequalities facing trans San Franciscans,” said Michelle Cunningham-Denning, program manager for the TAJA Coalition, or the Trans Activist for Justice and Accountability Coalition. , and member of the Our City, Our Home oversight committee.

“From founding Our Trans Home SF in 2019, the first trans-specific housing program in the nation, to expanding health and social services for our communities, she has shown her dedication to dealing with life’s circumstances. challenges that TGNC people face due to transphobia, anti-blackness, racism, xenophobia, and more,” Cunningham-Dunning said. “As a community member and leader, it fills me with hope to see the progress made by our communities, and I look forward to working with city and community leaders to make the dream of a safe and stable housing for TGNC residents a reality.”

Sharyn Grayson, co-executive director of the Transgender, Gender-Nonconforming, and Intersex Justice Project, said the nonprofit is “thrilled by the mayor’s commitment to ending homelessness for our affected communities in disproportionately”.

“These investments will allow us to prioritize equitable services for some of San Francisco’s most vulnerable people and provide safe, stable, affordable housing and comprehensive services to a community struggling to survive,” said said Grayson.

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