Time to re-write policy: Ruth Ellis Center plays key role in upcoming White House visit
By Crystal A. Proxmire
Originally printed 3/1/2012 (Issue 2009 - Between The Lines News)
UPDATE Monday, March 5: PARKING DIRECTIONS: Pay parking is available at Structure 1 at 450 West Palmer, opposite the Law School and two blocks north of the Community Arts Center and McGregor Center.
Space is limited and registration is required.
Registration will be open until Friday, March 2, 2012, or until we reach capacity.
REGISTER ONLINE (REQUIRED):http://go.usa.gov/QVd
DETROIT - The White House Office of Public Engagement in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, working with the Ruth Ellis Center, will be in Detroit to help area agencies and housing providers at a forum March 9 tackling the new federal non-discrimination rule that will go into effect on March 5. The rule, published Feb. 3, entitles access to housing regardless of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status. It also prohibits lenders and other entities from inquiring about gender identity or sexual orientation. The rule only applies to entities that receive HUD assistance or are insured through FHA.
"I think it's especially timely for our city," said Laura Hughes, executive director of REC. "Nationally, about 40 percent of the 1.7 million runaway and homeless youth self-identify as LGBTQ. In Detroit alone, up to an estimated 800 homeless LGBT youth are on the streets every day. REC works daily with our city's and state's leadership to help improve outcomes for the homeless LGBTQ youth we serve. It sends a powerful message to now have the commitment from the Federal government to discuss these issues."
The White House is making LGBT issues a priority this spring with a series of conferences planned around the country. The March 9 LGBT Conference on Housing & Homelessness will be held at Wayne State University from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. It is the second in the planned series. The first conference was held Feb. 16 in Philadelphia and focused on LGBT health needs.
The WSU conference will feature remarks by HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. Additional presenters include HUD Assistant Secretaries John Trasvina, Raphael Bostic, and Mercedes Marquez, as well as Bryan Samuels, commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth, & Families at the Department of Health & Human Services.
HUD and the White House have partnered with the REC and hope to demonstrate the need for better housing opportunities. It will give area agencies an opportunity to consider how current policies might conflict with the new rule.
The official itinerary has not yet been released, but the program is expected to have a series of workshops on housing issues, including information from REC, which is one of only four shelters in the nation serving LGBTQ youth.
"We hope that people who come will be service providers, especially those that receive HUD dollars, as well as people in the LGBT community," said Hughes. "We're inviting a mix of people involved in the community so we can have good conversations. We want these folks to interact and see why it's important to have LGBTQ needs met. The duty of the conference is, it really is about gays, but it's a great opportunity to bring others who have never sat down and looked at their policies. Agencies have realized there aren't LGBTQ issues addressed in their policies, but now they need to address them. So it's an opportunity to really look at the care they are providing to this community," she said.
Hughes explained that many agencies have operated with good intentions, but their policies have unintended discrimination outcomes.
"One example, most recently, was a community provider for transitional housing. They are an agency that only accepts family, but their policy did not have wording protecting gay couples as family. In situations like that it will be really great to have HUD on sight to have them cover what this rule means. This gives people a chance to talk about their policies and will show them not only how to comply with the new rule, but how to be welcoming and inclusive. These aren't necessarily groups that are jerks. It's that their policies are worded in a way they are discriminating unintentionally."
Hughes said the involvement of REC in the conference is important to the shelter. REC currently helps youth ages 13-24, who are homeless or runaway youth, with housing. Their drop-in center helped 4,309 young people last year alone.
"The White House recognizes the work we are doing, and we're proud to be part of this historic conference," said Hughes.
To learn more about what the White House is doing to further the support of the gay, queer and transgender communities, go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/lgbt.
- Mich. Dems Push Elliott-Larsen Amendment In House And Senate
- Pregnant Lesbian Fired From Catholic School
- Walking With HIV: Sponsoring Acceptance
- Black LGBT Church Founder Celebrates In Detroit
- Gender Neutral Bathrooms May Come To Detroit
- Inclusive Congregation Celebrates National Coming Out Day
- Hearing Voices: Ruth Ellis Center's 15th Anniversary Raises Awareness and Funds
- Detroit Leadership Class Welcomes Affirmations' Director Of Programs
- Equality Michigan and Connect2Protect Fundraise For Gender Neutral Bathrooms In Detroit
- New AIDS Partnership Michigan Coordinator To Tackle HIV, MSM Stigma For Detroit Agency
- Gays Against Gary Glenn
- AIDS Walk Locations
- MY Consent Day Empowers Michigan Youth, LGBT Survivors Of Assault
- AIDS/HIV Organizations
- Horizons Project
- The NAMES Project Foundation Michigan Chapter
- Banquet Hall/Catering
- Village Conference Center of Chelsea
- Fertility Services
- Trillium Birth Services
- Funeral Services
- Sullivan & Son Funeral Directors
- Make-up Artist
- C. Michelle LLC
- Religious & Spiritual
- Birmingham Temple
- Fishbones Rythym Kitchen Cafe
- Substance Abuse, HIV Counseling and Testing
- Institute for Population Health
- Detroit Snob
Enter contests to win great prizes like CDs, DVDs, concert tickets and more
- Michfest Responds: We Have a Few Demands Of Our Own
- Q&A: Jennifer Hudson On Lesbian Rumors & Drag Queen Attitude: 'I Don't Care What You Think'
- Q&A: Bill Hader Talks Gay Kisses ('Paul Rudd Tastes Like Chicken') & Trans Sketch ('Sorry')
- Barbra Streisand's Duet With Gay Son Is Highlight Of New Album
- Equality Michigan Stands With Allies: Seeking Full Inclusion
Sign up to receive our weekly newsletters today!
CHELSEA - Following a path that has taken her from working in civil rights in the big metropolis of New York City to owning dozens of sheep, chickens, pigs and other rowdy farm animals, Angie Martell seeks a full life of balance and tranquility.
This Week's Issue
Download or view this week's print issue today!
Sign up to receive our weekly newsletters today!