Community groups in Perth have launched a new project to tackle homelessness among trans people.

The Trans Homelessness project is aiming to promote local peer support and develop referral pathways for trans people experiencing homelessness.

A joint initiative of the Perth Inner City Youth Service, TransFolk of WA, and ConnectGroups, the project is funded by the City of Vincent.

Coordinator Dani Wright Toussaint told RTRFM’s All Things Queer that the project could potentially expand in the future to support people in other areas of Perth and Western Australia.

“We’re hoping it will stretch far wider, and there is the opportunity to do some strategic focusing around data collection in accommodation services in WA and even Australia-wide as part of it,” they said.

The Perth Inner City Youth Service works with many young trans people, and finds homelessness is a common challenge.

Wright Toussaint said the project was developed out of a desire by each community group to increase the accessibility of support services for homeless young trans people.

They said that measuring how many trans people were homeless was difficult because of gaps in data collection, but homelessness was often an issue because of young trans people being kicked out by families or not feeling safe at home.

“It is hard to really answer that question as clearly as we’d like to,” they said.

“We do know that trans young people experience homelessness at far higher rates than cis people.

“Perth Inner City Youth Service has been working with trans young people for many years as part of the work that they do, and consider them a higher risk group.”

Wright Toussaint said they have seen many positive changes over recent years, including better visibility of trans people leading to the availability of more evidence-based interventions for problems such as homelessness.

Part of the Trans Homelessness project will involve development of a new drop-in centre for trans and gender diverse people by Perth Inner City Youth Service.

It will be run by trans people, including those who have experienced homelessness before.

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