LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A total of $80,000 in funding for a program that helps transgender people who are engaging in sex work or experiencing homelessness along Santa Monica Boulevard was unanimously approved today by the Los Angeles City Council.
The Midnight Stroll and After Hours Cafe was launched by the Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team in January 2017 in collaboration with the Los Angeles Transgender Advisory Council and The Wall Las Memorias Project, along with support from Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, the Los Angeles Police Department and several community partners.
``This is one community that is still often the most marginalized, and certainly the most misunderstood and it's a community that certainly needs our help and support, because as we talked about many times in this chamber, everyone deserves the right to live their life authentically. And we need to help people who exist in the margins, and supporting the Midnight Stroll and the funding for this program will certainly help in carrying out that value,'' O'Farrell said before the vote.
Under the program, volunteer outreach workers walk along Santa Monica Boulevard, from Vermont Avenue to La Brea Avenue, to provide water, food, and clothing vouchers, while also promoting HIV testing and other services. The program also provides some emergency shelter beds.
Over the past year, there has been a 64 percent spike in homelessness within the transgender community, according to O'Farrell's funding motion.