One-in-four trans people in the UK has experienced homelessness at some point

One-in-four trans people in the UK has experienced homelessness at some point
St Martin-in-the-Fields Charity funds Trans Pathway, a 3-year pilot project in association with leading LGBTQ+ youth homelessness charity, akt. It is currently the only highly specialised support service of this sort to exist in the UK and has supported 72 trans+ young people facing homelessness to date.

“Trans Pathway caters specifically for trans+ young people in Greater Manchester who are experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness, due to transphobia. The project offers housing guidance through floating support and youth engagement activities. Everybody should have a safe place to live where they can be themselves. Taking a holistic approach to trans housing through casework, advocacy and empowering young people, the Trans Pathway is unique but meets a need which is sadly widespread. I hope this project can provide a useful model for others in the homelessness sector.”

Ben, Trans Pathway Manager, akt

Why the project is so important

akt knows that trans+ people often face additional barriers to accessing support with housing and homelessness. Trans Pathway’s aim is not to provide a segregated service, but rather, through advocacy, to improve trans inclusion in mainstream services and increase the options available for trans and non-binary young people in Greater Manchester.

Some of the additional barriers trans+ people at risk of homelessness often face include:

  • Lack of knowledge about supporting trans+ people and/or transphobia from staff, residents or service users.
  • Difficulty accessing ID and housing documents in the correct name.
  • Exclusion from gendered accommodation and services and a lack of LGBTQ+ specific accommodation and services
  • Needing to stay in a particular area to access trans affirming care
  • Young people being unaware they are eligible for support and/or overlooked by services because they are hidden homeless, including sofa surfing, living in an unfit home or with an abusive partner, or engaging in survival sex work.
  • Experiences of exclusion are intensified for multiply marginalised people, such as trans and intersex people of colour, women, refugees and asylum seekers, and people with disabilities.

The support Trans Pathway provides

  • Support for people like Tash to access safe housing.
  • Advice to help young trans+ people like Charlie understand their rights and options.
  • Advocacy with other services, such as mental health and well-being, and for themselves.
  • Pathways to access education, employment and training.
  • Life skills such as budgeting, bills, cooking, CVs, and building relationships with housemates.
  • Community opportunities to meet other trans+ young people in a supportive environment.
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