San Francisco, CA - Mayor London N. Breed today proposed over $3 million in increased investment for transgender initiatives and LGBTQ services, including $2 million to provide housing subsidies to transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) individuals.
This funding would create the first program of its kind in the nation and would help at-risk transgender individuals afford the cost of housing in San Francisco and prevent homelessness.
“Transgender and gender-non confirming San Franciscans are almost 18 times more likely to experience homelessness than the general population in our City. Housing subsidies for our City’s trans community will help individuals remain housed and will provide a much-needed safety net for those who are at risk of homelessness,” said Mayor Breed. “With the ongoing affordability crisis in our City and the constant attacks on trans people from the White House, we must remain united to make sure no one is erased. This budget proposal shows that we’re committed to keeping our communities housed and assuring our most vulnerable residents can thrive in San Francisco.”
The $2 million budget investment will fund a two-year pilot program to provide housing subsidies for 75 transgender households. These investments will prevent eviction and stabilize tenancies for some of San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents. This pilot program is an extension of Mayor Breed’s commitment to ending homelessness for the LGBTQ community and Transitional Age Youth (TAY). In October 2018, Mayor Breed announced the launch of the Rising Up Campaign, which aims to provide housing and jobs for 500 TAY and 450 at-risk TAY. Nearly half of the homeless youth in San Francisco identify as LGBTQ and 30% of homeless adults identify as LGBTQ.
“We are inspired and grateful for Mayor Breed’s ongoing commitment to our trans and LGBTQ communities. Trans communities have spearheaded a call for TGNC specific housing programs through the Our Trans Home SF campaign to assure TGNC individuals can find and keep their housing,” said Clair Farley, Director of the Office of Transgender Initiatives. “One out of two TGNC San Franciscans have experienced homelessness and that is a crisis. When TGNC San Francians do experience homelessness, there are no safe places for us to go. In San Francisco we are steadfast in our commitment to end trans homelessness and won’t rest until everyone has a safe place to call home.”
“Our trans community is disproportionately impacted by our housing and homelessness crisis but historically hasn’t gotten the support they need from City Hall. Trans and gender non-conforming San Franciscans made their demands for housing clear with the Our Trans Home SF campaign and I am grateful to the mayor for hearing the call and prioritizing the urgent housing needs of this community,” said Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, who represents San Francisco’s 8th Supervisorial District.
In order to serve LGBTQ folks experiencing homelessness, the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH) is launching the LGBTQ Host Homes program for TAY. This new program, operated by The SF LGBT Center, will connect youth experiencing homelessness to safe and stable housing with adult hosts in the community, utilizing existing housing stock. Assistance will be available for between 3 and 12 months. HSH’s budget also includes $425,000 for transgender services for youth experiencing homelessness, including problem solving and family reunification interventions based on a peer-to-peer service model and additional training for nonprofit providers operating shelter that serve LGBTQ youth.
“These interventions provide community-based housing options for LGBTQ youth and youth of color who are sadly over represented in our homeless community due to family rejection and discrimination. HSH is also committed to increasing our data collection of underserved communities through our coordinated entry system and will be working to improve access and quality of care to trans and LGBTQ people and residents of supportive housing efforts in the coming years.” said Jeff Kositsky, Director of the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing.
Mayor Breed’s proposed budget includes additional investments for LGBTQ services including:
- Continued support for LGBTQ homeless youth services
- Hiring of a new Training Officer in the Office of Transgender Initiatives to implement Mayor Breed’s Executive Directive to track the expansion of gender options on all City forms and provide trans inclusion training to City employees that work with the public.
- Establishing an ongoing LGBTQ Immigrant Fellowship program through the Office of Transgender Initiatives. This fellowship program, piloted this year, prepares LGBTQ immigrants with the professional development skills they need to engage with the everyday workforce, internships, and continuing education.
- Continued support to backfill federal HIV funding cuts and our Getting to Zero initiatives.
The Mayor’s full budget will be announced on Friday, May 31 and presented to the Board of Supervisors.