To all of the folks who are dealing with or facing homelessness, please know that we are here for you.

Below I’m sharing a guide that I built just for you. It’s meant to help you figure out how to navigate homelessness, by giving you real steps that may help keep you safe along the way, peppered in with a few pieces of my own story.

Regardless of whether you are already on the street right now, or just know that its on the horizon, I want to begin by letting you know that you are not alone.

While we, at Trans Empowerment Project, are still very much a small grassroots organization with a budget of next to nothing, we do have skills, resources, friends, and volunteers that offer their community and support.

I personally spent just under a decade being homeless myself, and I know how painful it can be. I also know what it takes to get through it and I know that you too can do this.

The guide is below, I truly hope it helps. 🙏🏾

Before you go, homelessness is hard, but together, we can get you out of this crisis and into a place where you feel more empowerment than you may be feeling right now. 

My guide was designed to help anyone who is facing homelessness to make it through this difficult time.

This is a free resource for anyone who’s interested in reading it, I just ask a few things:

1) If you are someone who is reading this for education and not survival that you will make a donation to Trans Empowerment Project, so we can continue to provide more vital resources for QTPOC. 

With every $50 we raise, we can feed someone in our community for roughly a week.​ We are also aiming for a goal of building our first homeless shelter in Detroit by the end of 2021 and we could use your help.

Donate here.

2) If you find this guide helpful please share it on social media so that it can find its way into the hands of others who might be struggling.

3) Join our mailing list so you can stay up to date with more ways to rise in solidarity for our QTPOC.

If you are having trouble seeing the guide above, or want a printable version to share, please use the QR code below:

Written by: Roman Cohen

Navigating the job market is difficult enough as it is; for trans* people, it can be even more challenging due to discriminatory policies and invalidating work environments. It seems that the tide is starting to turn thanks to the Supreme Court ruling in favor of civil rights protections against discrimination for LGBTQ+ employees in June 2020. However, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality’s U.S. Transgender Survey, “nearly one-quarter (23%) of those who had a job in the past year reported other forms of mistreatment based on their gender identity or expression during that year, such as being forced to use a restroom that did not match their gender identity, being told to present in the wrong gender to keep their job, or having a boss or coworker share private information about their transgender status without their permission.” That’s why Trans Empowerment Project has put together this list of best places to work for trans* people. We hope this article can serve as a guide to make your job search a little less daunting. 

Technology

Amazon: Amazon offers transgender health benefits and an internal LGBTQ+ employee coalition called glamazon. Glamazon created a toolkit for Amazon’s transgender employees as well.

Apple: Apple emphasizes diversity and inclusion, making them one of the most progressive companies out there. They have received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for the past 16 years. They also offer transgender health benefits.

AT&T: AT&T has a history of being ahead of the game when it comes to diversity and inclusion. They have partnered with several LGBTQ+ organizations, such as The Trevor Project, GLAAD, and the Human Rights Campaign. They also have an employee resource group for LGBTQ+ folks called LEAGUE. AT&T has offered transgender health benefits since 2006. 

Law

Arnold & Porter: Arnold & Porter actively recruits LGBT+ employees, has been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign and the National LGBT+ Bar and has a Pride affinity group for training and career advancement. 

Baker McKenzie: The law firm is one of 14 companies to be named one of the Stonewall’s Top Global Employers. They have a zero-tolerance discrimination policy, offer pro bono work for LGBTQ+, and have sensitivity training for employees. They are one of the most proactive transgender-friendly employers. 

Finance

Charles Schwab: Charles Schwab has received a 100% rating on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index since 2004. They have a strong understanding of diversity in the workplace, and many employees note that their culture is exceptionally inclusive. 

Mastercard: Mastercard time and time again has set an exemplary standard of transgender acceptance for their customers, such as their TrueName initiative, which allows transgender people to have a payment card with their name whether or not they have legally changed it. This attitude exists in company culture as well, and their employee benefits for LGBTQ+ people are some of the most comprehensive out there. These benefits include transgender surgery coverage, gender equality initiatives, and an overall intersectional understanding of inclusion

Retail/Food Service 

Gap Inc.: The Gap empire includes Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta, and Intermix. They have received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for 15 years. They have an internal LGBTQ+ networking group called GEAR. Gap Inc. is also the first and only global apparel retail company to sign the UN Human Rights LGBTI Corporate Standards of Conduct for Business

Starbucks: Starbucks is well-known as a particularly trans-friendly workplace. They offer a benefits package with extensive coverage for trans employees. Benefits include gender reassignment surgery and lifetime coverage for services such as voice therapy and facial feminization, which are often categorized as “cosmetic,” and therefore not usually covered. Their coverage complies with the World Professional Association for Transgender Health standards

Macy’s: Macy’s has a strong acceptance policy for customers and employees alike. They have specific diversity goals and have put their diversity values into action. Macy’s has partnered with The Trevor Project, a transgender advocacy organization, and the Human Rights Campaign. They also have an employee resource group, Pride, for LGBTQ+ employees. Macy’s full transgender policy is available here

To find more of the best places to work for LGBTQ+ folks, please refer to the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index here. To learn about the Human Rights Campaign’s “Who’s Hiring” Web Seminar, click here. For advice on coming out at work, please refer to this Human Rights Campaign article. For tips about finding inclusive places to work, check out this Muse article. If you need help applying for a job, figuring out where to apply, or help networking, check out the Trans Employment Program. Best of luck on the job search!  

Please note that this list was compiled based on copious amounts of research; however, workplaces may vary in their actual implementation of individual policies or company culture. For every positive policy in place, there may be a negative anecdote from an employee. Research is just that: research. It cannot fully account for the actual quotidian experiences of trans employees. 

How we helped during 2019:

HRT Assistance: 82 (avg. cost to fulfill $45)

Toiletry Boxes filled in 2019: 71 (avg. cost to ship $11)

Clothing Packages: Total Requested 200- Filled in 2019: 56 (avg. cost to ship $30/box)

Delivered Food Packages: 121 (avg. price $50/delivery)

Below is a breakdown:

MonthShirtsPantsShoesToiletriesHRTFood PackagesTotals for the month
Jan63122115
Feb42315419
Mar22315316
Apr76644532
May3446101138
Jun46766736
Jul16101213132185
Aug9108891357
Sep79910101661
Oct121010741558
Nov131010751560
Dec666691043
2019 Totals8978797182121520