A social services provider says feedback from its frontline staff tells them that about 1-1.5% of its clients identify as transgender and the organisation is currently working with seven people who identify as transgender. Frontline staff of Lifewise say that transgender people are discriminated against when it comes to accessing housing and report that people are bullied when in emergency accommodation, generally feeling too unsafe to stay and as a result, return to the street. It has recently been highlighted that transgender people are facing debilitating discrimination when it comes to finding housing, prompting one household to advertise for a flatmate but stated “no heterosexuals” need apply. “Staff have had experiences of transgender clients lying about their gender in an attempt to secure a property and then having to live that lie once housed,” says a Likewise spokesperson. Lifewise also says that people have given up trying to find accommodation as they feel no-one will take them in and so remain homeless. The Auckland based not-for-profit organisation deals with people struggling with homelessness and provides critical services to vulnerable and at-risk people of all ages. They say they are currently not aware of any specific organisations working with homeless transgender people in New Zealand.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Wednesday, 27th January 2016 - 2:01pm
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