One of my peers in journalism, Katelyn Burns, interviewed the founder of Hypatia Software Org (unrelated to the journal of a similar name). Burns’ interview highlights a few key points to providing substantial, material support for trans people:
The cycle of systemic poverty and homelessness is nearly impossible for anyone to break out of. The combination of not having enough funds for everyday necessities under capitalism and a lack of a suitable shelter under which to sleep can be crushing to the human spirit.
Under structural transphobia, trans people are at increased risk for unemployment and homelessness, with trans women of color—who are three times as likely as the general population to be unemployed—bearing the brunt of this oppression.
When I began my own transition, of course, homelessness lingered as a fear in the back of my mind. I’d watched too many trans women be run out of their jobs under suspicious circumstances and subsequently struggle to find another job to believe I was entirely immune to the possibility.
Housing insecurity is a major issue for the trans community and already sparse shelter resources could potentially be a hostile environment for a trans woman, myself included.
As a trans woman, I have a natural fear of cis-operated spaces, as the potential for transphobia is ever present. For example, the Salvation Army has been accused several times of harassing or even banning trans women from their shelters. I wouldn’t even risk availing myself of their services.
Taking into account that a great many shelters and anti-poverty charities are affiliated with or operated by churches, I would be leery of seeking the same help as a homeless cis person.
And with trans people making up just 0.6% of the population, it’s especially difficult for organizations to provide appropriate local trans-specific resources and a welcoming support system in order to help folks breakout of the systemic poverty cycle.
In order to figure out the best ways to help trans people breakout of systemic homelessness, I turned to the trans-run organization Hypatia Software Org.
According to President/CEO, Lisa-Marie Maginnis, Hypatia’s mission is “to end homelessness and the disenfranchisement of people who experience transmisogyny through peer mentorship, emergency cash relief, and community building.”
Here are 4 ways they say we can help get trans people out of poverty now:
Read more here.