In June 2014, I was admitted to a women’s homeless shelter in Northeast Portland. This was my second attempt to lift myself out of homelessness through the assistance of Transition Projects, which runs the shelter.
Like most of the residents, I was there because I had run out of options. None of us was thrilled about living with as many as 60 other women. Our only task was to make the most of it so we could transition into something better.
A few weeks into my stay, I returned to find a number of women in distress. Reportedly, one woman had even fled the shelter in terror.
What was wrong? What was the uproar about? An answer soon followed: The shelter had admitted a man who “self-identified” as a woman. No doubt this was not a first for the shelter; it was, however, a first for those of us who were relative newcomers. Continue reading…