Trans Rights are Human Rights: SPY's Statement on Modification to Equal Access Rule
On July 1st, 2020, the Trump administration announced a modification to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Equal Access Rule, which would ultimately strip transgender people of fundamental rights and protections. It’s known as Making Admission or Placement Determinations Based on Sex in facilities Under Community Planning and Development Housing Programs (Docket No. fR-6152-P-O1).
This modification would allow shelters and providers to have authority in determining who is eligible for access to a single-sex or sex-segregated facility. In other words, federally-funded shelters would legally be allowed to turn away individuals whose gender identity does not match the sex they were assigned at birth. Not only would this affect transgender individuals, but anyone whose appearance doesn’t match their gender stereotype.
This proposed rule is a direct attack on the LGBTQIA+ community. At SPY, 25% of the youth we serve identify as members of the LGBTQIA+ community and are often homeless due to homophobia and/or transphobia in their caretaker’s homes. According to the U.S. Transgender Survey in 2015, a third of trans and non-binary people have experienced homelessness, while half of Black and/or POC (people of color) trans and non-binary people will experience homelessness.
Safe Place for Youth fervently rejects and opposes this proposed rule and will continue to follow and fight for the protections put in place by HUD’s 2016 Equal Access Rule.
Take Action with Us!
Submit a comment. We urge you to join us in submitting a comment in support of equal rights for the transgender community. HUD is accepting open comments until Tuesday, September 22nd. Click here to submit a comment. If you need assistance in crafting your comment, contact us directly or follow the tips on Housing Saves Lives.
Share on social media. Use your social networks to get the word out about this modification rule.
Advocacy and Policy
Ending youth homelessness requires the involvement of a multitude of stakeholders: public and private service providers, county systems representatives, policymakers, researchers, funders, coalitions, community members and volunteers. Safe Place for Youth recognizes that youth who access our services need us to be their voice of change at the city, county, state and federal level. Our Executive Director and Director of Housing Advocacy participate as members and leaders of multiple advocacy groups across LA County working on advancing public policy that is responsive to the needs of youth.
Additionally, SPY's youth advocacy panel, "SPY Squad" meets weekly to communally address the issues that matter to them most. This work includes awareness around issues facing homeless youth (such as affordable housing options and the need for employment opportunities), and advocating for appropriate solution to end youth homelessness at conferences locally and nationwide.
Leadership and Coalitions:
- Westside Homeless Youth Partners (WHYP), Convener
- Los Angeles Coalition to End Youth Homelessness (LACEYH), Tri-Chair and Steering Committee member
- Westside Coalition, Board Member
- Hollywood Homeless Youth Partnership (HHYP), Member
- National Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness, Presenter
- West Coast Convening, Presenter
- Coordinated Entry System Policies and Procedures, Member
- Department of Mental Health Service Area Advisory Committee (SAAC5), Participant and Steering Committee
- Service Planning Area (SPA) 5 Adult Coordinated Entry System, Participant
- Westside Mental Health Committee, Participant