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Trans agency awarded $500k grant to support clients

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A $500,000 grant is helping create infrastructure and programming to support challenges impacting the transgender, gay, and nonbinary communities.

Trans Solutions Research and Resource Center representatives say its new VISION program centers around three pillars, health, employment, and housing areas. Trans, gay, and nonbinary people often have trouble accessing them, and as new legislation threatens to stiffen limitations, the time to act is now.

“That (grant) is spread over three years. It’s a huge deal because we’re the first trans-led organization that has received this type of funding,” said Deputy Director Flo Battles.

The organization for the last three years has been making strides, to improve access to resources for Indy’s trans community. Serving a large population of trans people of color.

“People who are of the trans experience, we are supposed to hide. We’re not supposed to tell that we’re trans and everything. And now we’re living our lives,” said Aundrea Lacy, director of programs.

The first year of the grant will be used to develop infrastructure to get the programming off the ground. Programming that will be known as VISION. It’s centered around health and wellness, workforce development, and housing. The largest social determinants of health.

“Housing is one of the biggest problems going on right now because so many people are on the streets homeless,” Lacy said.

The grant funding will support education, teaching financial literacy, resume building, and more for trans people. And educating community partners in ways of creating equitable spaces.

“I know as a trans person before I got my name changed, going into jobs. It was always discomforting for me to be able to go in there and talk to people as that name,” Lacy said.

And assessing the community, getting a more accurate count of trans, gay, and nonbinary people who need help.

“For years and years and years, trans women’s numbers have been linked or grouped in with gay men’s numbers. And so with this program will actually start getting some trans numbers,” Battles said.