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Queer Shelter Project

Donations needed to complete nation’s first LGBT-focused shelter!

Dolores Street Community Services, in partnership with community advocates, the San Francisco Human Services Agency, Supervisor Campos, and Bevan Dufty of the Mayor’s Office of HOPE, has been working hard toward opening the first LGBT-focused shelter in the country.

We are in the final stretch of raising funds to complete this project, and we need your help!

Although the Human Services Agency has committed the vast majority of the funds for the building rehab and furnishings of the shelter, we are currently facing an approximately $100,000 gap to get the project completed.

Read more below or make a donation now to help us complete this important project.

   

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History and Statement of Need

The need for an LGBT focused shelter has been the topic of City discussion for over a decade.  Since 2000, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission (SF HRC) has been documenting complaints of anti-LGBT violence in the City shelter system.  In 2003, the SF HRC issued policies for housing transgender shelter residents, and in 2008 issued HRC brochures providing community education on this complicated issue. 

In a survey of shelters conducted by the Coalition on Homelessness a few years ago, over 70% of transgender residents report having experienced violence at the city's shelters because of their gender identity. For years now, service providers, such as Brian Basinger of the AIDS Housing Alliance/SF and Tommi Avicolli Mecca of the Housing Rights Committee, have seen clients who report harassment and violence at shelters because of their orientation or identity. 

At a March 25, 2010 hearing initiated by Supervisor David Campos at the urging of queer community service providers, over 30 LGBT shelter residents testified that they had experienced this same type of harassment and violence. Many of those testifying suggested the creation of an LGBT shelter where LGBT shelter residents could be safe. Following that hearing, LGBT community leaders came together with homeless advocates to explore the creation of such a shelter. 

Homelessness is a serious problem in the LGBT community. One in five transgender people, according to a study conducted by the Transgender Law Center, have become homeless after coming out as transgender. Of the 4-5,000 homeless youth on our city's streets, 40% identify as LGBT. At least 40% of people with AIDS are either homeless or inadequately housed. In fact, due to the high cost of housing, a recent report from HUD puts San Francisco in last place in the nation in terms of the percent of people with HIV/AIDS who have permanent, stable housing – only 9.1%.

Shelter Concept

Dolores Street is planning to expand one of our existing shelter locations so that an LGBT friendly shelter space can occupy a room on the second floor of the building.  The existing shelter serves 57 male shelter residents on the first floor. The LGBT focused shelter would add an additional capacity of 24 shelter beds.

The shelter expansion seeks to serve LGBT and gender non-conforming individuals. The additional shelter space will be divided by portable partitions in order to ensure some privacy for women, men, and gender non-conforming residents. A closed off dressing area is also included within the sleeping space area.

All shelter residents (from first and second floors) will have access to the dining room and open areas. The upstairs area, as well as other shelter sleep areas, would be restricted to individuals with reservations in that designated area.

Dolores Street would also modify bathrooms on the second floor to create new showers, dressing areas, and toilet stalls to accommodate the new shelter guests.

Once the rehab of the building is complete the San Francisco Department of Human Services will fund the ongoing operating costs of the shelter.

 
Dolores Street Community Services, 938 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110, 415-282-6209, info(AT)dscs.org