resources for white trans woman in NYC facing homelessness
May 25, 2023 9:15 PM   Subscribe

A dear friend is a white trans woman in NYC facing homelessness in 5 weeks. What local non-shelter resources can she take advantage of? Is there a mutual aid group that can help?

The landlord of her place is evicting her and her roommates in 5 weeks. It's a live-work artist situation, so unfortunately she is also losing her job, which was in the same building. She did pay rent in this situation (maybe $800/mo) but since she's losing her job at the same time, finding housing is hard. Her and her roommates are all low-income and are having trouble finding somewhere to live, so are in imminent danger of being homeless. She is trans and understandably wary of the shelter system and the hospital because they are sites of trans abuse. She also has a ton of musical gear and needs somewhere to store it. Unfortunately, she is from an anti-trans state and her parents are anti-trans, so she can't go back. What options are there for trans people to get back on their feet in NYC? Would a local mutual aid group help?

She is very caring and thoughtful, a brilliant artist, and definitely a hard worker (at her current job, basically a customer service job, she works incredibly hard - and she's taken on fast food work or similar in the past, when she's had trouble). I would give her a glowing character reference. It's just hard for a trans artist to find a job and I feel like the situation with the landlord is just incredibly bad luck.

As for what I can do: I live across the country and am very very overextended at the moment. I'm not sure if living with me would help her - her entire network is in NYC, she gets gigs through her network there, and she's on NYC state benefits. If it was absolutely essential, I could host her, but I'm not really sure if she could land back on her feet if she lived with me, and I fear entering a situation where I would have to ask her to leave but she doesn't have something lined up. Also, I would have to negotiate with my roommates about hosting her. I would happily make calls on her behalf, or look at Craigslist, or similar.
posted by icosahedron to Society & Culture (7 answers total)
I honestly don’t have any experience with this, but as an NYC native with lots of LGBT friends, I felt like doing some research.

A good deal of the resources relate to age. Is your friend younger than 24? If so, there are specific age related programs for LGBT housing here. If you google “LGBT Housing NYC” and try variations with “Trans” or “Programs” there are a ton of resources. You can start here with this page.

There are lots of storage lockers you can rent by the month, or musician spaces for her to store her gear. If you have the money to help her out and pay for the first month, that might take some of the immediate stress away.

I don’t know how much help she needs from you, or how immediate that need is, but at least this is a place to start.
posted by Champagne Supernova at 9:55 PM on May 25

Response by poster: thank you!

2 clarifications:
- friend is 40 years old
- friend (and roommates) are being evicted because the landlord wants to demolish the building, not for bad behavior
posted by icosahedron at 10:21 PM on May 25

She should get in touch with the Homebase for her zip code. It is not a panacea, but they will help her connect with any city services that may be available.
posted by praemunire at 10:30 PM on May 25

Other orgs may also point to this and give more useful context, but she may want to see if she can get temporary assistance but am not sure how long it would take or if it’d be substantive enough. The Trans Lifeline could potentially help make calls/point to other resources or numbers to call (they’ll also redirect to a friends line if you’re calling in for her).
posted by sincerely yours at 11:50 PM on May 25

Has she thoroughly investigated her rights as a tenant in NYC? I see that it’s not a case of being evicted for bad behavior but she may have rights as far as longer notice (5 weeks seems short) being able to negotiate a lump sum payment in exchange for moving out, etc.
posted by needs more cowbell at 12:32 AM on May 26 [2 favorites]

she may have rights as far as longer notice (5 weeks seems short)

Came in to comment specifically on this:

New York City tenant law requires landlords to give tenants ninety days notice that they would not be renewing the lease. Five weeks is only 35 days. So if this is brand-new news, then the landlord is violating your friend's tenants' rights, and she may want to contact a lawyer. (There are pro-bono lawyers working for tenants' rights.)

I know that 90-day rule VERY well....when my old landlord sold my last building, the new landlord then wrote to us all saying that he would not be renewing our current leases when they expired, but would instead be offering us new leases (at greatly increased prices, of course). We all looked into our rights, and discovered that 90-day clause - and further discovered that the bastard had given us all at least 93 days' notice and we were thus SOL.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:52 AM on May 26 [5 favorites]

The requirement is not 90 days unless you have lived there already for two years. Otherwise, if you had a year's lease, it's 60 (30 if less than a year and you've lived there less than a year). See here.
posted by praemunire at 7:37 AM on May 26 [3 favorites]

« Older Sister judges me for working at a new company she...   |   how to feel alone without feeling miserable Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments