Serving respectfully and responsively are two priorities in our work with the Welcome Ministry.
One way we do this is by listening and responding to the requests of individuals, and another way we can do this is to draw on the wisdom of research in homeless and poverty communities, particularly when this research starts and ends with the people.
Invisible Men: FTMs and Homelessness in Toronto
In Toronto, the FTM Shelter Research Team asked homeless female-to-male spectrum transgender residents (as well as using their experiences as FTM shelter workers) how the shelter system was inadequate for protecting safety and promoting identity expression, and what could be done about it.
SAMHSA's Homelessness Resource Center
This is a broad resource highlighting best practice for homelessness services. As it is published by the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, it focuesses on the role that substance abuse treatment can have, while also looking at the broader picture of culturally competent homeless services. For a government resource, it's remarkable in how it stresses looking to the population served to play key roles in all aspects of service, from volunteering for daily tasks to running boards of directors and research.
If you have ideas about how the Welcome Ministry can use these materials to broaden and deepen our welcome, comment here!