A New LGBTQ ‘Haven’

Ka’Trina Marshall (Photo by Deanna Hirsch via The Uptowner)

The Dominican Women‘s Development Center has expanded its LGBTQ program to the basement of  Holyrood Church on West 179th St. in Washington Heights, providing “a haven” for transgender women like Ka’Trina Marshall and others, reports Deanna Hirsch in The Uptowner.

“You’d be surprised how much being clean and being able to eat does for you,” said Marshall, 21. “How do you choose between a meal and a shower? Now, I don’t have to.”

Marshall, who is HIV positive and had been homeless before coming to the shelter, also was offered a range of services such as help in securing health care and housing benefits.

“They’re actually organized and if they don’t have the services, they offer direct referrals,” said Marshall, whose case manager helped her get hormone and HIV treatments in just a day.

With the Center’s help, Marshall has been placed in a single-room occupancy shelter and approved for a city voucher of around $1400 a month to cover rent for a studio or one-bedroom apartment. Finding a landlord willing to accept the voucher has proved nearly impossible, however.

Go to The Uptowner to find out in what ways the new facility’s “aesthetics are more HGTV than homeless shelter,” and how it is helping clients to see “a whole new path,” as another transgender client put it.


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