The city of San Francisco opened its first low-income transgender and gender non-conforming halfway house as part of the city's Our Trans Home SF program, which offers help with case management, rental subsidies and finding affordable housing, according to the Bay Area Reporter
Funded with a $2.3 million allocation from the Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development and the Office of Transgender Initiatives, the 'Trans Home' on Washington Street will provide a 'safe shelter and supportive services for 13 new residents, who will share a three-story building with 13 bedrooms, three kitchens and a common living space,' according to the report.
The apartments, which have mirror floor plans, feature wood floors throughout and original moldings and other decorative details. In the second-floor flat, the right side front room has a covered over tile fireplace and mantel, while the back room features a built-in wall cabinet with glass-paneled doors.
Each bedroom will have a locked door for the privacy of the residents. They will be asked to abide by a set of rules appropriated from the ones Larkin Street uses with its youth tenants. After three violations, the residents will be asked to leave, said Newman. -Bay Area Reporter
Residents will be allowed to live in the house rent-free for a year while receiving assistance with finding a longer-term place to live, according to the report.
"I think it is great. I love the location," said Trans Home's first resident, 60-year-old Jane Cordova, adding "I like to cook ... I am the mother of the house."
Come February Jane Cordova will move out of a shelter for LGBT adults in San Francisco's Mission district for her own room in a Chinatown apartment. The scalloped windows in her bedroom will look out onto the city's famed cable car line, which stops mere feet away.
Cordova, 60, a transgender woman, is the first resident selected for the Trans Home SF on Washington Street, the city's first transitional housing program for transgender and gender-nonconforming adults. The program aims to provide apartments for 12 individuals age 25 and older who will be able to live rent-free for a year as they receive support in landing a job, enrolling in school, and saving money to move into their own apartment. -Bay Area Reporter
"Housing affordability and homelessness continue to impact our most marginalized communities, including our trans community members, who are 18 times more likely to experience homelessness," said Mayor London Breed in a Thursday ribbon-cutting ceremony.
"Increasing housing and ensuring equity across our City is my top priority, which is why I am so proud to open San Francisco’s first Trans Home on Washington Street. This new program will provide trans people with the safety and support they as they find a permanent home in San Francisco," she added.
While there are some shelters across the nation who serve the homeless LGBTQ community, temporary housing for members of the community can be especially difficult.
Even in San Francisco — a city historically seen as a place where trans people would converge — one of every two trans San Franciscans have experienced homelessness.
The space is part of the Our Trans Home SF program, an initiative that supports hundreds of members of the TGNC community by offering help with case management, rental subsidies and housing navigation. -NY Daily News
Transgender respondents surveyed in 2015 revealed that 70% feel they have been mistreated in some form or another because of their gender orientation - including being evicted from shelters, physically attacked, verbally harassed or sexually assaulted.
"The new program in San Francisco is clearly filling a void that exists in in safe and affirming spaces for transgender people," said Sarah McBride, Human Rights Campaign national press secretary in a statement to the Daily News, adding "For far too many transgender people who are struggling with housing insecurity, safe and affirming-shelter remains out of reach."
McBride is "absolutely hopeful" that other cities will follow suit.
"There are a number of different steps that hat can and should be taken to address both housing and security for the trans community, and also the specific fear around discrimination in short-term living shelters," she said, adding "And that includes the need for cities, states and our federal government to pass clear protections from discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in employment, housing, public spaces and government funding."
Eight residents have already been selected to live in Trans House, while five more will join once the third-floor units are open.
In October, the city awarded $1.15 million to two nonprofits to provide direct rental subsidies to transgender and gender-nonconforming people in their homes or to help them find housing.
"The ongoing housing crisis in our city continues to impact our most marginalized communities including our trans community," read a statement from Breed. "Meanwhile the community continues to be under constant attack by the federal administration who is attempting to legalize discrimination and erase transgender people. The Our Trans Home SF program is a vital step forward in assuring our trans community is housed, safe, and can thrive in San Francisco."