Press Tribune: No Policy for Transgender People at Larger Idaho Homeless Shelters 

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Saying there's "a lot of animosity" at some local shelters regarding transgender people, the CEO of the Boise Rescue Mission told the Idaho Press-Tribune that "it's a case-by-case decision on where to place them," but there is no set policy on how to serve that population.

This morning's Press-Tribune reports Rescue Mission President and CEO Bill Roscoe said there have been transgender men and women staying at the mission's shelters, but the newspaper tells the story of one transgender woman who left the mission's women's and children's shelter in Nampa because she said she was harassed.

Homelessness is a particularly acute problem for transgender people. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, one in five transgender people have experienced homelessness at one point in their lives. What's more, transgender youth are estimated to account for 20-40 percent of the nation's 1.6 million homeless youth.

Roscoe insisted to the Press-Tribune the woman was "flaunting the fact of [her] situation." Ultimately, she found shelter at Hope's Door, managed by Advocates Against Family Violence.

The chief reason Hope's Door has a policy regarding transgender clients is some of its support comes through federal funds while the Boise Rescue Mission, a faith-based organization, is sustained through donations and non-governmental grants, according to the Press-Tribune. Simply put, the four shelters run by the Boise Rescue Mission do not have set policies on where to place transgender people in need of housing, according to the Press-Tribune.

Meanwhile, Leo Morales, executive director for ACLU of Idaho said, "What we need is comprehensive laws protecting all people," telling the Press-Tribune, "We should not be using religion to discriminate."
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