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Windsor’s first transgender and family drop in centre is set to open soon.
Windsor-Essex Transgender and Allied Supports (W.E. Trans*) announced Monday that they have secured the community’s first Transgender-specific service space. With a growing population of service users identifying as transgender or gender non-binary, the agency spent time considering multiple locations, before settling on their first agency home-base at 111 Wyandotte Street West.
According to Jayce Carver, W.E. Trans Executive Director, heading into their first physical space is ground-breaking news, and a needed step in moving forward.
“Even though we are Only 4 days away from Trans* Day of Visibility in our community, we just couldn’t wait to share the news, and neither can the individuals and families we support- they’ve wanted and needed this space for too long,” said Carver.
W.E. Trans* provides peer support, service navigation, employment support, housing support, medical and counseling referrals, social events, and transitional age youth services in the community, and sees this larger space supporting these programs and those accessing it by creating a trans* and gender non-conforming space that is welcoming and supportive. The space will be mainly volunteer-run.
The space, approximately 1000 square feet, and at the doorstep of Windsor’s Downtown core, will house drop-in programming, Transpectrum T2-Friends Family and Allies, Rainbow Recovery, Youth Action Council groups, T-Party events, and support the needs of the 150 people every month.
With keys in hand, the next steps before opening the doors to the public include getting the space client-ready, according to W.E. Trans*.
“The space is secured, and now we start the work of getting it ready- meeting space, drop-in space, computer access, clothing access, there is a lot to be done if we want to have you all back to our agency house warming by the end of April”, says Chad Craig, W.E. Trans Board Member and Administrative Director for Five Fourteen Foster Care. “It was a manageable risk for the Board as we see the agency growth that’s been occurring, and at $40 dollars a day to support the Trans* community, that is an amount we know, and the community knows, is well worth investing in.”
According to Carver, a key to moving forward will be the increased opportunities such as community partnerships that come with having a safe physical space.
“People have often asked us why we need our own space and the answer is simple,” says Carver. “The barrier during self-improvement is not so much that we dislike learning, rather that we dislike being taught. To learn entails that the knowledge was achieved on one’s own accord – it feels great – but to be taught often leaves a feeling of inferiority. For this reason, it is imperative to understand that to support someone is to actually work in partnership with them on their journey of self improvement.”