Press Release – San Francisco, Calif. (January 23, 2017) – Joan’s House, a non-profit shelter, will soon be providing transitional housing and support for women and transgender individuals in the San Francisco Bay Area.It will offer a safe place of shelter for trans persons (regardless of their transition status), support services, and works to eliminate the prejudice and discrimination transgender individuals and women face.
“It’s heartbreaking how many transgender individuals end up on the streets,” explained Dr. Erica Anderson, Chairperson of Joan’s House. “Even in a city like San Francisco, known for inclusive towards the LGBTQ community, a countless number of transgender person send up on the streets because they don’t feel safe going to traditional homeless shelters, which segregate based on gender assigned/designated at birth.”
Joan’s House is the brain child of Michelle-LaelNorsworthy, most notably known for setting a precedent in 2015 for the State of California being required to pay for gender reaffirming surgery for transgender inmates in the case Norsworthy v. Beard. She was inspired to create Joan’s House following her release from prison and seeing the limited options for trans and marginalized individuals first-hand.
“I look around this city and see too many others like me – men and women that just want to become their true selves – struggling to survive on the streets,” said Michelle-Lael. “As a trans woman, I’d be put in a men’s shelter, and it’s just not safe for me there. I’d rather sleep out in the cold than face the same daily fear I lived with for 30 years while I was behind bars.”
In just one year since she was paroled, Michelle-Lael has already formed an impressive board of directors and, with the help of those inspired to come alongside her,Joan’s House is officially established as a 501(3)c nonprofit.
“Trans individuals face a unique set of challenges,” continued Michelle-Lael. “Despite growing awareness for what we face daily, we need a place where we can live next to others who understand where we’re at and provide the support we need to transition and get back on our feet. Joan’s House will be that place.”
To learn more about or to find out how you can support the non-profit organization, please visit JoansHouseShelter.wordpress.com. All donations are tax deductible.