Transgender Housing Network

It feels like a good time to share this networking page again. The Transgender Housing Network connects transgender people with safe places to live temporarily while finding stable housing among supportive people. The posts in the network range from someone looking for a couch for a few nights to a room they can rent in a trans friendly environment. Sometimes posts are transgender allies who may need a housemate or other long term options.

Unsafe living situations, poverty, and threats of violence are an every day thing for transgender people in the US, disproportionately so for trans people of color. Homeless transgender people quite often have no shelters that will accept them. Unemployment and underemployment is high among transgender people.The eviction rate and housing discrimination is comparably high.  Networks like THN  are so important.

If you’re willing to host or are transgender and need a place to stay, check out the link below.

 >>>>>>   Transgender Housing Network  <<<<<<

 

 

I’m this cat.

[contents: segregation in education, transgender women living in poverty & violence in Detroit,gentrification in Washington DC & San Francisco, evictions,housing ]

 

Me today but with these links.

99-year-old woman facing eviction from her Western Addition apartment – 90-effing-9 years old and bastards served her an eviction notice. The woman has lived in the apartment since the 50’s and was granted a lifetime lease. The building owners claim she isn’t living there but her family insists otherwise.


 

Wealthy Virginia county plans to redistrict high poverty,mostly Hispanic families into separate schools – economic and racial segregation in schools isn’t new but it’s usually more subtle and not so blatantly planned. The board’s argument for the plan is that resources can be focused on these “high need” schools but history and experience contradicts that this will actually happen. Schools with low income students may get more for meals programs but they tend to have less money for quality programming and curriculum


How Detroit is becoming a flashpoint of violence against trans women – I’m tired of people asking me why I talk about transgender people on a blog that’s “supposed to be about poverty”. If you really need a deep explanation, this piece is excellent at explaining how transgender people are kept in a cycle of poverty and subjected to violence.


Mice, bedbugs, broken heaters: What it takes for D.C. to sue a landlord for neglect – The Washington Post – gentrification, ffs.

“The Sioux Chef” Sean Sherman on “oppression foods” and bringing back “pre-reservation food”

Daily Dozen isn’t working for me. Sometimes 12 is too much and sometimes I don’t have time to do it every day. Welcome to  “However Many Links I Happen To Have Posted At Random Frequency”.

As someone who gives everything a name, even inanimate objects, it’s going to bother me to not have a better, definitive name for link round ups but I’ll live.

[Contents: California, homeless rights, renter’s rights,housing, indigenous foods,commodity foods, Native American, Minnesota, Sioux Chef, Lakota, food on reservations]

California Bill Defends the Right of the Homeless to Rest in Public • SJS – “SB 876 asserts that homeless people cannot be discriminated against simply because they are unhoused. This means that they have the right to “to use and to move freely in public spaces, the right to rest in public spaces and to protect oneself from the elements, the right to eat in any public space in which having food is not prohibited, and the right to perform religious observances in public spaces.”


via Community Tenants Union. The general idea here is that housing is a basic human right and people NEED housing. That human need shouldn’t trump an owner’s desire to build a portfolio.Renters are highly exploited to benefit others and that shouldn’t happen.
Community Tenants Union explains in the comments,too : “I think the point is that people shouldn’t have to rent. Creating a market for housing means that people get rich off what should be provided as a basic need. And what people *choose* to rent is oft-times substandard, without a basic licensing system for landlords, or a rigorous system of controls to ensure that rental properties are maintained to a high standard.”

 


This Native American Chef Is Championing Food Justice in the Most Innovative Way – “Food commodities — like flour, lard and sugar — are whatChef Sean Sherman (popularly known as “The Sioux Chef”), a member of the Oglala Lakota peoples in South Dakota, called “oppression food” in this week’s episode of The Movement.

Sherman advocates for a return to “pre-reservation” indigenous foods used by Native American peoples prior to colonization and displacement from their lands. His activism comes in the form of culinary arts. His protest takes place in the kitchen.

The Minneapolis-based caterer and food educator provides cooking classes, offers speeches and food demonstrations with the purpose of restoring traditional Native American foods and flavors to prominence in Native communities and beyond”
Watch: 8+ minutes . Worth the time.


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Our Rented Homestead

If someone made me sit down and write a “How I Spent My Summer” essay, it would read more like the lyrics to a woe-is-me country song. Thankfully it would be missing the elements of Loretta Lynn songs involving being pregnant again. There was also no spousal abandonment but otherwise… it was a craptacular summer.

I’m not even going to talk about every little bad thing that happened. I’m thinking of Summer ’15  as that attention-seeking Internet troll. The more you talk about them, the more power they have to ruin your day. Be gone, Summer ’15. I will not miss you.

bye animated GIF

Worth talking about is how we struggled to find housing for our family that didn’t cost 80% of our income (no exaggeration. Love ya, Ithaca but the rent is too damn high! ). Beyond the cost of housing, there seemed to be a general lack of places to live for families and man, the discrimination….ugh.And I’m not even the usual minority who gets the bulk of discrimination thrown at them. I can’t tell you how many times I called about a place that was for rent nowhere near student housing to be asked, “Are you Cornell people? I only rent to students or grad students with families.” Other times I filled out really strange questionnaires that asked detailed questions about my relationship status that baffled me. Sometimes I got the impression they were trying to ask if I was a single mother and if the guy who was going to live with me was the father or my children or if I just had random men live with me and be my sugar daddy. Other times, the gist of it seemed to be…are you a “traditional” family. Like, married man and woman who have heterosexual sex and aren’t living in sin. Very confusing.Several wanted copies of paystubs and a verification of employment. I wondered what would have happened if a disabled or elderly person who couldn’t work would have wanted to live there?One landlord said he couldn’t rent to me because I have too many children and his water bill would be too high (I offered to pay extra for water but no deal). And then there were landlords who would rent to us but not without a credit check. We don’t have bad credit…. we just have NO credit. And on and on. Stupid reasons people couldn’t rent to us.

Oh,I know. It’s totally illegal but I just needed to find a place to live. I was in panic mode thinking we would have nowhere to go I didn’t have time to mess around with reporting these jerks and jerkesses. That’s probably why they can get away with it. People are so stressed and focused on finding a place to live NOW .Dealing with unethical landlords in is the last thing you want to deal with.

I was also amazed that so many landlords would not accept Section 8. We don’t have Section 8 because there’s a 3 year waiting list and I’m an eternal optimist who thought  3 years ago there was no point in getting put on the wait list because “there’s no way we’ll still be this poor 3 years from now!” .  Ha.
So, this doesn’t personally affect us but c’mon,people. Get over your outdated stereotypes about the types of people who get housing subsidies.

I was so irritated with people who told me, “Why don’t you just go live in one of the trailer parks?”
Now,let me say this first. I am sure there are some fantastic trailer parks out there but I grew up in one that was not and know that the ones here are even worse now. I will never-ever-ever live in one again, especially not while raising children. Living there  I witnessed and heard domestic violence and child abuse on a daily basis. I was sexually molested by a neighbor when I was 9. In my teen years, I was walking home from a friend’s 3 trailers away and was almost raped. Drugs were everywhere. Sickos mutilated people’s pets. No personal possessions were ever safe. And besides, trailer parks here did not escape the influence of Ithaca’s high cost of living. $950-$1,200 for a 3 bedroom box with no yard and shitty surroundings. I will take that nope train all the way back to Nopeville,thankssomuch.

Then I would mention an address we were looking at an apartment in and people’s reactions would be like, “OHMYGOD, but that’s THE GHETTO!” Funny thing is, I know people who live in that neighborhood and I have worked there. I saw it as a community. A community that doesn’t have very many white people living there.  Where my general concern would be that White families moving into that neighborhood would add to gentrification, other people were horrified and concerned for our well being because surely, I would die immediately just living among all those people of color.Or something. I’m not quite sure.

But sure, tell me to go live in the cesspool that the trailer parks are.

By the way… please be aware of the way you use the word “ghetto”. 

Anyhoo…

This story has a semi- happy ending. We found an affordable place to live and I’m in love with it, even though my beloved kitty was probably eaten by bobcats the first month we lived here. The area is one I have family roots in (the first two white settlers here were my ancestors. The town and school is named after the wife of one of my long dead relatives and there are all sorts of NY state historical signs all around commemorating things my people had a part in). It has a reputation of being rife with hillbillies and poor hicks (I have a lot to say about this and I will on another day) and so we moved here to add to the population,I guess.  We’re in the middle of nowhere yet we have bus service. I love it here. Best of all, the owner doesn’t care what we do with the land here. 5 acres, a barn, and a pond.

Literally:

“I don’t care what you do here.” – our landlord

It’s a great property but it’s been neglected for awhile and it’s going to be a lot of hard work but having the freedom to have chickens and grow food and properly homestead while renting is a serious blessing. Longtime readers here know that I am vocal when it comes to poor people shamed for not growing their own food. I totally stand behind all those reasons but I also want to show the possibilities for people who may not have the same limitations. Get ready for Rented Homestead  posts in the future. They will be honest and frugal because as much as I love living here, I’m still as poor as ya’ll know what.
(That’s why I said “semi-happy ending”. Still poor,dammit.)

Yay, pond! We finally get to use the canoe we got 10 years ago.
Yay, pond! We finally get to use the canoe we got 10 years ago.

ICYMI: Hundreds of poor residents being forced out of DC housing,Texas sends poor teens to adult jail for skipping school, more about Kansas shenanigans… (and more)

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Seems like a lot of inequality shenanigans to mention this week.

× Texas is sending poor teens to adult jail for skipping school – That doesn’t quite seem like the answer to getting them stay in school, Texas

× Remember that apartment building being built in NYC that had a separate entrance for poor people? There are currently 88,000 applicants for the 55 units in the ‘poor door’ building.

× Beyond Gentrification: Hundreds of predominantly poor Black residents are being forced out of their homes to make way for new developments

Sounds like a case for Nelson & Murdock

× Also, in DC, the Capital Bikeshare program is not reaching low income residents who would benefit the most. Half of the participants make $100,000 or more /year . Other cities are finding the same issue and have discovered that a small percentage makes less than $50,000/yr.

× I am a cook in the US Senate but I still need food stamps to feed my children – Bertrand Olotara is a single father who works 70 hours a week and still struggling. He’s calling on politicians he serves in the Senate to do something about it. Do you think they’ll respond?

× A Day in the Life of a Welfare Recipient, according to the GOP – Another commentary on restrictions states are placing on how TANF money is spent based on stigmas and false stereotypes.

× Can you survive on $4.17 a day? – I know I’ve made it abundantly clear how much I dislike food stamp challenges but I always read them. I can’t discount everything said about them. This one has great points about how US citizens focus unfairly on SNAP while government spends a lot of money on ridiculous things.

×  $17 million at risk in Nebraska if they don’t get their act together and approve or deny food stamp applications in a timely manner

× Less Money, More Problems – Kansas has a history of stigmatizing low income people instead of creating policy to help them

via Collective Evolution

The Gregory Project, An Initiative to Turn Billboards Into Affordable Housing

 

The Gregory Project, An Initiative to Turn Billboards Into Affordable Housing

From the Gregory Project website:
Cities are engulfed with rigid constructions for billboard advertisement which are expensive to put up, maintain and their subsequent renting is a costly venture. The Gregory project brings optimization to the construction of billboard structures in a way that the insides of these, after the extension, could be turned into a living space. Such an object would need just  a minimal maintenance cost which could be partially paid through the rental of its advert space. 

I like that this is solution oriented.