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As temperatures start to dip closer to zero this winter, adequately bundling up changes from a matter of comfort into a matter of life and death. And for those who are homeless, staying warm is a critical concern. Within the LGBTQ population, members of the transgender community are among the most affected by homelessness. The National Center of Transgender Equality reports that 20 percent of transgender people in the U.S. have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives. To help combat those numbers, Fair Michigan’s Director of Transgender Outreach and Advocacy Julisa Abad is hosting a coat drive.
“I do it annually this is my fifth year doing it,” she said. “Every year I offer trans people a winter coat, winter essentials, HIV Testing, food, a warm place to meet up with music and fun … [and] free gifts and raffles.”
This year’s event will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Menjo’s Entertainment Complex, located at 928 W. McNichols Road in Detroit. Abad said that all donations are accepted, even items like “socks, non-perishable food, toiletry items or gloves.” Financial donations are welcomed, too, at Abad’s GoFundMe for this cause.
“I try to service most the community forced to do survival sex work on Six Mile and Woodward to at least eradicate the reasons as to why they would be out there,” she said.