+
San Francisco homeless
Image collage via Wikicommons

San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced a new plan to combat homelessness amongst the transgender community

Home is somewhere to lay your head down at night without worry that someone will steal all of your worldly possessions. Home is where people start families and make lifelong memories. Having a place to go home to every night is safety. Safety from the elements and safety from other people who may mean you harm.

And there's almost nothing more quintessentially American than owning a home. Yet, the reality is America does poorly with keeping people housed. Homelessness is a growing problem across the country, especially with the lack of affordable housing and wages that don’t always meet the minimum basic needs.

And the rates of homelessness among transgender people are higher than average with 8% of trans adults experiencing homelessness compared to 1% of cisgender straight adults, according to UCLA School of Law Williams Institute.

To help remedy the problem in her city, the mayor of San Francisco, London Breed, announced a plan to allocate $6.5 million toward an initiative to end homelessness of transgender people in the city.


The multiyear plan would see an end to trans homelessness by 2027. Transgender people face more discrimination, including when securing housing, than their cisgender counterparts. While this is unfair, it’s not particularly surprising when you consider the legislation around what bathrooms trans people can use. It’s not a far reach to assume they likely have difficulty finding a homeless shelter that will accept them based on their identified gender. Safety would also be a large component even if there was no discrimination in sheltering trans individuals.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

"Transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming San Franciscans are 18 times more likely to experience homelessness compared to the general population, and we know that the rates are even higher for our minority trans communities," Breed said in a statement. "With one of the largest TGNC populations in the country, we not only must ensure that all San Franciscans have access to housing and essential resources through continued investments, but we can show the country that we continue to be a leader on supporting and protecting our trans communities."

America has not been kind to gender nonconforming people, especially people that identify as trans. It almost seems like it's acceptable to treat transgender people poorly. It needs to stop. If we are silent when injustice is present, our silence is the loudest voice in the room.

Photo by Delia Giandeini on Unsplash

Breed’s proposed plan would include at least 150 long-term housing subsidies through the city's already established Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool program. It would also fund short-term rental subsidies, flexible financial assistance and support to build the capacity of nonprofits serving transgender and gender nonconforming people. The budget plan is extensive and will include planning for housing for LGBTQ youth who are at a transitional age.

Housing should not be reserved for those who society deems appropriate based on lack of knowledge and biases. Transgender people who are experiencing homelessness deserve a place to call home just as much as the next person. It’s not clear if this announcement was timed just in time for Pride Month, but it sure feels fitting.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

Keep ReadingShow less

Memories of childhood get lodged in the brain, emerging when you least expect.

There are certain pleasurable sights, smells, sounds and tastes that fade into the rear-view mirror as we grow from being children to adults. But on a rare occasion, we’ll come across them again and it's like a portion of our brain that’s been hidden for years expresses itself, creating a huge jolt of joy.

It’s wonderful to experience this type of nostalgia but it often leaves a bittersweet feeling because we know there are countless more sensations that may never come into our consciousness again.

Nostalgia is fleeting and that's a good thing because it’s best not to live in the past. But it does remind us that the wonderful feeling of freedom, creativity and fun from our childhood can still be experienced as we age.

A Reddit user by the name of agentMICHAELscarnTLM posed a question to the online forum that dredged up countless memories and experiences that many had long forgotten. He asked a simple question, “What’s something you can bring up right now to unlock some childhood nostalgia for the rest of us?”

Keep ReadingShow less