Sanctuary City to offer first safe housing for Trans adults.
Trans Latinx DMV and No Justice No Pride collaborate to open up new homes for Trans migrants in Washington, DC.
Washington, D.C. (occupied Piscataway land )— Two local grassroots organizations that focus on the safety and self determination of Transgender community members, Trans-Latinx DMV and No Justice No Pride (NJNP), are planning to open two new homes dedicated to providing long term and emergency housing to adult Trans migrants (ages 25 and up), and a third home for Black and Brown Trans women. With the first house to open in late spring and the second later in 2020, this will be the first housing resource dedicated to serving Transgender adult migrants. The third house will not be dedicated to migrants, but will also be opening in spring of 2020.
The three new homes will be part of No Justice No Pride’s NJNP Collective Housing program, which provides free housing for homeless and housing unstable Black and Brown Trans women. NJNP’s three operating houses are at capacity and therefore these new houses are critically needed. NJNP’s six (6) safe houses will be a life-saving resource. At present, this project is entirely funded by community support and without government or municipal support. While NJNP has had some success accessing grants, limited funding exists amongst private foundations for these programs. Historically, philanthropic institutions assume cities will provide these housing resources.
While Washington, DC has been declared a “sanctuary city” for many communities, with some resources available for the Trans community, Trans-Latinx people are left at the margins. Additionally, city services in D.C.,along with many other major cities, become even more limited after the age of 24. This gap greatly exacerbates the violence Black and Brown Trans women are vulnerable to in a city with rising costs of living..
Throwing gasoline on a wildfire, many of the services that are available and funded by the city require service providers to check boxes that don’t exist within our community. These services provide housing vouchers but the process often requires long waits to access limited open spots. Additionally, long-term public housing options are underfunded or under threat of privatization all around DC including Park Morton, Barry Farm, The Manor, Congress Heights and the Wharf. Many in our community face rampant voucher discrimination in the D.C. private rental markets.
According to the DC Trans Needs Assessment Survey, released in 2015, over 35% of respondents reported engaging in sex work — with a majority of respondents indentifying as trans women or trans feminine and being of color. In the same survey, 74% of respondents had been verbally assaulted, 42% physically assaulted, and 35% sexually assaulted, so it should be no surprise that when the issue of housing came up in the survey, 20% reported experiencing homelessness. Those currently experiencing homelessness are significantly more likely to be HIV positive and half reported relying on “informal” and grey economic work for income (such as sex work).
NJNP’s safe houses operate under principles of democratic self governance by each home’s occupants. NJNP believes in the abolition of the prison system and self determination for marginalized communities. The principles and the processes under which NJNP Collective Housing operates has forced many to rethink the concept of housing as a resource. NJNP provides long term housing to 18 individuals, with at least 30 receiving temporary housing and awaiting NJNP housing capacity to increase.
Between NJNP’s current safe houses and support from the broader DMV activist community, as many as 50 Black and Brown Trans people have been able to receive housing per night. In recognition of the greater and ongoing need, NJNP hopes to continue to expand it’s Collective Housing program, with future plans to open a dedicated space for emergency and temporary housing relief.
A spanish version will be provided in an update. Those seeking to support NJNP and Trans -Latinx DMV plan for the new homes can make a contribution to our fundraiser or on the NJNP Collective Housing webpage.
Trans-Latinx DMV (a chapter of TransLatin@ Coalition) is a Two-Spirit Trans Womxn led organization that centers the needs of Black & Indigenous Trans-Latinx people living in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.
No Justice No Pride (NJNP) is a collective of organizers and activists from across the District of Columbia. We exist to fight for trans justice and to end the LGBT “equality” movement’s complicity with systems of oppression that further marginalize Trans and Queer individuals.
NJNP believes in holistic solutions to the problems facing queer and trans communities that target systemic forces and root causes. Our members are black, brown, queer, trans, gender nonconforming, bisexual, indigenous, two-spirit, formerly incarcerated, disabled, and white allies. We believe that we will not be free until the most marginalized amongst us are free, and that by prioritizing solutions that support folks facing multiple intersecting forces of oppression will lead us all to liberation. There can be no pride for some of us without liberation for all of us. Most importantly, we believe that those most impacted by these issues need to be the ones calling the shots.
- NJNP Collective Housing — formally known as The NJNP Collective, NJNP Collective Housing (NCH) has been a vital resource to DC’s Trans & Queer Community and the larger Sex Worker Activist network within the DC Area. Started as NJNP’s response to the passage of F.O.S.T.A. and S.E.S.T.A. in April 2018.