Homelessness is one of the most pressing issues facing the LGBTQ community, and this holiday, a new Los Angeles-based organization is doing its part to provide shelter to those in need. Created earlier this year, TransHaven LA is fighting trans homelessness in a city with one of the highest chronically homeless populations the nation. (Bustle has reached out to TransHaven LA for comment.)
On its Facebook page, the organization describes itself as a "trans-led coalition arranging trans people with housing resources and services in the Los Angeles area." Efforts include an ongoing campaign to create care packages containing items like toothpaste, shampoo, menstrual products, blankets, and other necessities; what's more, according to the Huffington Post, TransHaven LA intends to serve as a database of trans-friendly realtors as well as people willing to offer temporary housing. On Dec. 13, the organization also announced in a video on its Facebook page the launch of a holiday coat and jacket drive for the winter, accepting clothing donations until Dec. 19.
"We want to be able to help people and their needs so they can triumph in this system that continues to marginalize and suppress us," Aly Flores of the TransLatin@ Coalition told the Huffington Post.
Although New York City technically has a higher population of people who are currently homeless, for the past two years, Los Angeles has topped the list of cities with the highest chronically homeless population in the United States. In 2016, the number reached nearly 13,000, over 3,000 of which are unaccompanied youth. Estimations of the number of LGBTQ homeless population in Los Angeles are hard to come by, but research has shown that between 20 and 40 percent of homeless youth across the nation are LGBTQ. It's a dismal statistic in the first place, but it gets worse: Family rejection of an LGBTQ identity is one of the leading causes for youth homeless.
Transgender people face particularly extensive discrimination. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, one in five transgender people report experiencing discrimination when seeking a home, and more than one in ten have been evicted due to their gender identity. Most importantly, one in five have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives.
Clearly, organizations like TransHaven LA are sorely needed to fight LGBTQ homelessness. To learn more about TransHaven LA, head over to its Facebook page, and if you're interested, you can donate to the organization through PayPal.