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There are approximately 16,000 transgender people living in Toronto and a significant number of them experience homelessness, are marginally housed, or couch surf. Homeless, trans people are significantly more likely than non-trans people to experience verbal, physical, and sexual assault; unemployment; discrimination in the workplace and in schools, and by families, police officers, health care providers, and community members; challenges in obtaining identity documents; incarceration; and difficult physical and mental health outcomes (including HIV, depression, anxiety, and suicide).
This workshop is about the creation and development of a cross sectoral and collaborative Network, and 2 Trans housing and support programs. We will share some of the challenges in the implementation of the programs, and learnings acquired through an evaluative research project.
|Kay Roesslein has 29 years working with LOFT Community Services/McEwan Housing & Support Services, working with those who are HIV positive having Mental Health and/or Substance Use challenges, experience homelessness and complex care challenges, and those who identify as Trangender providing stable housing and community support.
As Program Director for LOFT’s McEwan Program, Kay oversees McEwan’s High Support Residence and has expanded the Community Support and Respite Programs, and facilitated three innovative Programs: Positive Service Coordination (a cross-sectoral partnership of 18 agencies serving homeless PHAs in health/mental health crisis); The Addictions Supportive Housing Program (a LOFT/Fife partnership providing supportive housing to homeless PHA’s with significant Substance Use challenges); and BLOOM, The Supportive Housing program for those Transitioning Genders.
Kay’s community involvements include:
Co-Chair, BLOOM, Transgender Network 2016-20
Co-Chair, Supportive Housing for People with Substance Use, (SHPSSU) 2018-19
Co-Chair, Toronto HIV Network (THN) 2018-9
Steering Committee Co-Chair, the Toronto HIV Network (THN) 2010-2020
Co-Chair, Toronto to Zero (T2Z), Housing Working Group and Network member (2018-2020)
|Jake Farr holds a Masters degree in social work. He is a private mental health counsellor focusing on people who identify in the 2SLGBTQI community, their friends, family, or allies who may need support. His area of specialty is focused on gender and sexual identities for trans individuals. Jake is also an educator and advocate who often speaks to governing bodies, organizations, and groups about community, inclusion and equity. He has spent many years working to support trans and gender expansive initiatives in Toronto and Durham Region.