Trans/Gender Non-Conforming Shelter

Rebuilding Hope! The Sexual Assault Center for Pierce County opposes antitransgender initiatives and the recent attack on transgender and gender non-conforming people’s access to safe shelter. The new proposed rule put out by the Trump Administration would allow Grantees of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to deny shelter to trans and gender non-conforming (GNC) individuals. This would greatly affect the transgender/GNC population due to 1 in 5 transgender people having experienced homelessness at some point in their life1. This could mean that a trans woman who is looking to access help at a women’s shelter, could be turned away and given an alternative of seeking housing at a men’s shelter, which not only doesn’t fit her identity, but could put her at greater risk for violence. Both alternatives of sleeping at a men’s shelter or sleeping on the streets increases this woman’s risk for violence, which transgender/GNC people already experience at higher rates, with roughly 1 out of 2 transgender/GNC experiencing sexual assault2.

Accounts of violence continued to be reported even when transgender/GNC people accessed shelter. Around half of transgender/GNC reported being harassed by residents/staff while 24.7% report being physically assaulted and 21.7% report being sexually assaulted3. These numbers suggest that transgender/ gender non-conforming people need increased safety and anti-discrimination laws/policies both nationaly and within organizations. As an anti-violence agency, Rebuilding Hope! cares about this issue and believe that laws/policies should protect transgender and non-binary people from discrimination and violence.

Rebuilding Hope! commits to focusing on this population and learning about the unique barriers transgender/GNC individuals face. We calls on all organizations in Pierce County that serve transgender/ gender non-conforming people to work with The Rainbow Center and Oasis Youth Center to address this violence and create their own internal anti-discrimination polices. If you serve survivors of sexual harassment, assault and abuse or survivors of any gender-based violence, connect with us to learn if Rebuilding Hope can support you or your client or if we can provide services in collaboration with The Rainbow Center and Oasis Youth Center.

To read more about the proposed rule vist or go directly to If you are interested in making a public comment on the proposed rule, all public comments will be open until September 22nd, 2020. For people interested in getting more involved please head to A detailed statement signed by our Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs (WCSAP) can be found at

  1. “Housing & Homelessness.” National Center for Transgender Equality,
  2. James, S. E., Herman, J. L., Rankin, S., Keisling, M., Mottet, L., & Anafi, M. (2016). The Report of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey. Washington, DC: National Center for Transgender Equality.
  3. Begun, S., & Kattari, S. K. (2016). Conforming for survival: Associations between transgender visual conformity/passing and homelessness experienced. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, 28(1), 54-66.

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