Man who identified as a woman was allowed in our all-women’s shelter. It was the wrong call

20419103-mmmainIn June 2014, I was admitted to a women’s homeless shelter in Northeast Portland. This was my second attempt to lift myself out of homelessness through the assistance of Transition Projects, which runs the shelter.

Like most of the residents, I was there because I had run out of options. None of us was thrilled about living with as many as 60 other women. Our only task was to make the most of it so we could transition into something better.

A few weeks into my stay, I returned to find a number of women in distress. Reportedly, one woman had even fled the shelter in terror.

What was wrong? What was the uproar about? An answer soon followed: The shelter had admitted a man who “self-identified” as a woman. No doubt this was not a first for the shelter; it was, however, a first for those of us who were relative newcomers.  Continue reading…

L.A. sees another sharp rise in homelessness and outdoor tents

la-me-ln-homeless-count-20160504-001Homelessness rose 11% in the city of Los Angeles and 5.7% in the county last year despite an intensive federal push that slashed the county ranks of homeless veterans by nearly a third, according to a report released Wednesday.

The increase marks the fourth consecutive year of rising homelessness in L.A., as local officials struggle to identify funding for billion-dollar plans they approved to solve the nation’s most intractable homeless problem.

Countywide, nearly 47,000 homeless people were counted in 2016, up from 44,000 in 2015 and 39,000 in 2013, the homeless report said. Nearly two-thirds — 28,000 — were in the city of Los Angeles.  Source