Thursday, December 9, 2010

For Transgender Homeless, Choice Of Shelter Can Prevent Violence
A pilot policy to allow transgender people to choose between men's and women's shelters has reduced violence. But women's shelters are safer for either identity.

Tiffany Jones is legally a man but identifies as a woman. Thanks to a pioneering New York City policy, she was able to go to a women's shelter when she became homeless. Were she to go to a men's shelter, she claims, "I’d be beaten up or raped."

Tiffany Jones became homeless when she aged out of foster care last year. Although Jones identifies as a woman and takes female hormones, her legal paperwork identifies her as a man. But Jones was pleasantly surprised when she went to apply for help at a men's shelter last September and was asked if she was transgender and wanted to live in a women’s shelter.