Equality Issues within the Homeless Community

Kansas City privately funded shelter discriminates against same sex couples.  This is unfortunate and every shelter in the United States is going to have to figure out a solution to these issues. 

We congratulate the City of Cleveland for clarifying the law and housing discrimination statutes to include gender identity issues.  We still need a state law to protect all tenants because only half of the rental housing in our community is within the Cleveland border.  Here is the information on the employment and housing equality bill that passed Council last night from an EqualityOhio press release

We have excellent news to share. Last night, Cleveland City Council unanimously passed Ordinance 1445-13, adding "gender identity or expression" to several places where it was missing in Cleveland's nondiscrimination code. 

Thank you for showing your support at both the Finance Committee meeting Monday afternoon and last night in Council Chambers! We stood together in support of increased protections for our transgender community.

Our future success depends on our willingness to continue to stand together. Ordinance 1446-13 would remove discriminatory language allowing business proprietors to dictate which restrooms are appropriate for transgender people. However, it has not yet been scheduled for a vote. We are committed to getting Cleveland City Council to vote yes. 

We'll continue important public dialogue on transgender public accommodations. Look for more information in the coming days about other actions you can take to ensure the entire LGBT community is protected by Cleveland's code.

Together, let's celebrate the passage of Ordinance 1445-13 and commit to passing 1446-13 as soon as possible. 

Cleveland does a pretty good job in serving transgender individuals seeking shelter.  They respect the HUD policy of serving people in the gender specific shelter in which they present.  This only came about since 2012 when HUD clarified the rules.  We also can provide private facilities if the individual faces discrimination or harassment in the shelter.  This is one of the benefits of having a coordinated intake site locally.  There are individual problems, but we are light years in front of other communities. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Discrimination Against Homeless People Report Released

The National Coalition for the Homeless has issued a briefing paper this week in Washington DC on the opinions of homeless people in the nation's capital.  This was a summer project by students at George Washington University to interview homeless people about their treatment that they receive by law enforcement, private businesses, medical services and social services. 

It is no surprise that law enforcement and private businesses were widely described as having discriminating against homeless people.   I find it incredible that more than a third of the homeless people living in Washington felt that they had been discriminated by social service providers and nearly half of those who responded were mistreated by medical service providers.  Much of this discrimination is minor inconveniences like no bags policies at businesses but others were life threatening discrimination in limiting access to emergency rooms or not allowing homeless people to sleep outside when the shelters are all full. 

There are recommendations at the end of the report which includes passage of Homeless Bills of Rights and passing anti-discrmination statutes in municipalities.  There could be better training of law enforcement in how to serve low income individuals and legal cases brought against businesses that routinely deny services to fragile and disabled populations. 

Check out the report.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.