Program provides $1,200 a month, prioritizes Black Transgender people
by Sumiko Saulson
Both transgender people and Black people are at an increased risk of homelessness in the Bay Area and nationally. In May of this year, Mayor London Breed announced an ambitious plan to end transgender homelessness in San Francisco by 2027. The recently announced Guaranteed Income for Transgender People (G.I.F.T.) is a part of these efforts.
G.I.F.T. will provide 55 transgender residents of San Francisco County with $1,200 a month in guaranteed income for a year and a half. The program promises to prioritize enrollment of transgender, non-binary, gender non-conforming and intersex (TGI) people who are also Black, Indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC), experiencing homelessness, living with disabilities and chronic illnesses, youth and elders, monolingual Spanish-speakers and those who are legally vulnerable such as TGI people who are undocumented, engaging in survival sex trades or are formerly incarcerated.
Safe housing is an issue for many formerly incarcerated people, 10% of whom are homeless in the months following their release. For members of the transgender community, who are 10 times as likely to be sexually assaulted by their fellow inmates and five times as likely to be sexually assaulted by staff. Programs like G.I.F.T. can help former inmates who are transgender to become stable upon reentry after release, and help them to avoid situations that occur during homelessness that can put people at increased risk for returning to prison. Homeless former inmates are less likely to receive adequate support for combating addiction and mental health issues, which leads to a higher rate of re-incarceration, according to Interrogating Justice.
All African American transgender people are at a higher risk of becoming victims of a violent crime, and this risk is increased for those who are homeless.
This program is open to Transgender people 18 years and older who live in the City and County of San Francisco and earn less than $600 a month. Applications opened on Nov. 15, 2022, and must be completed by Dec. 15, 2022, to qualify. You can apply or get more information about the program here: www.giftincome.org.
Bestselling author Sumiko Saulson (they/them or ze/hir) writes award-winning multicultural sci-fi, fantasy, horror and Afrosurrealism. Their latest novel, “Happiness and Other Diseases,” is available on Mocha Memoirs Press. Winner of the 2021 Horror Writers Association Richard Laymon Presidents Award, 2017 Afrosurrealist Writer’s Award, 2016 HWA Scholarship from Hell, and 2016 BCC Voice Reframing the Other Award, their monthly series Writing While Black follows the struggles of Black writers in the literary arts and other segments of arts and entertainment. Support them on Patreon and follow them on Twitter and Facebook.