Getting Help From the Trans Disaster Relief Fund

The Trans Disaster Relief Fund can help support the recovery of trans, intersex, and genderqueer disaster victims of:

  • Hurricane Harvey (September 2017)
  • Hurricane Irma (September 2017)
  • Central Mexico Earthquake (September 2017)
  • Hurricane Maria (September 2017)
  • California Fires (September – October 2017)
  • Hurricane Nate (October 2017)

Any member of the trans community who needs assistance due to an officially declared disaster will be considered for the fund. Please read the following to better understand the assistance that’s available as well as the process of obtaining assistance:

1. I need immediate assistance.

If you are in a life-threatening situation, you will need to contact emergency services.

  • Emergency Medical Assistance: Please call for emergency services. In America, Mexico, and Canada, dial 9-1-1.
  • Emergency Shelter: Not all shelter providers are safe and/or tolerant of non-cisgender bodies, expressions, or identities.

In the US: Faith-Based shelters are legally allowed to discriminate against you if they claim such discrimination as part of their faith. Additionally, you need to be aware that our current US Attorney General is attempting to make it legal for all providers of housing to discriminate against you. Having said that, providers with HUD housing contracts signed before 2017 are currently barred from discriminating against you; however, you should be aware that the current US administration is working to overturn these protections. Housing providers who accept Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) monies are barred from discriminating against you. Since the VAWA is an act of US Congress, its nondiscrimination standards are federal law.

2. I need help from the Trans Disaster Relief Fund.

  • Home/Primary Residence: We will provide some housing assistance to individuals and families who have lost their homes as a result of an officially declared disaster. If you are a renter or homeowner you may qualify for assistance. If your home was impacted by a major disaster we recommend that you apply for assistance.
  • Other Needs Assistance: We offer disaster assistance for some of your other disaster-caused expenses including, medical, child care, funeral and burial, essential household items, moving and storage, vehicle, and some clean-up items.
  • Apply for assistance through the Trans Disaster Relief Fund here.

3. I applied for assistance, what’s next?

After you’ve submitted your request for assistance, you will be contacted by a TFA representative. Once your request is reviewed and approved, depending on what your needs are, you may qualify for:

  • A check by mail
  • A cash distribution via a Walmart near you
  • A deposit into your PayPal account or
  • Referrals to community-supportive providers who will be able to help you with your recovery needs

If you do not qualify for a direct assistance from the Disaster Relief Fund, TFA will provide you:

  • An email explaining why you did not qualify
  • An opportunity to appeal the decision
  • Referrals to community partners who may better meet your needs

4. Limitations

Please be aware that donations to the Trans Disaster Relief Fund are absolutely minuscule compared to practically all other funds raised for general disaster recovery efforts. Because the Fund is small, TFA must be judicious in its allocation.

  • Needs-Based: Funds will be directed where needs are the greatest.
  • Duplication of Services: Funds cannot be used to duplicate services accessible elsewhere to the community.
  • Community-Helping-Community: TFA is a Houston-based volunteer organization and does not have staff; this means that everyone you interact with is also a community member, who survived the Hurrican Harvey disaster, and is volunteering their time in helping other community members recover.

This graphic lists seven info items that applicants will need when applying for FEMA individual disaster assistance.