Click here to access a written transcript of this episode.
Access to secure housing should be a human right, yet so many people experience homelessness in the United States and around the world. And for those who don't have a place to call home, there is no part of their life that it doesn't touch, whether it's their health and well-being or ability to be in community with others. In this episode, Andrew Spiers, a licensed social worker, explains what the Housing First model is and why it's an effective strategy for ending homelessness.
- Who Andrew is and how he came to work at Pathways to Housing PA.
- Andrew's history with the band members of My Chemical Romance.
- Misconceptions about people experiencing homelessness.
- The staggering rates of homelessness in the transgender population.
- The Trump administration's harmful proposed revision to the Equal Access Rule.
- What the Housing First model is and why it's effective.
- Harm reduction and how a lot of organizations that claim to use the Housing First model are missing that piece.
- Why providing housing first leads to better outcomes.
- The fact that housing a person is actually cheaper than providing other services.
- Some of the effects homelessness can have on health and well-being.
- The impact of community and socialization on health.
- What barriers exist to implementing the Housing First model.
- How Andrew defines health and wellness for himself at this moment in his life.
Mentioned in This Episode
- Purity Culture and Sexual Health with Erica Smith | #5
- Here and Queer with the 2020 Pride Panel | #52
- Prevention Point Philadelphia
- The Institute for Community Justice, a program of Philadelphia FIGHT
- The Trans Equity Project
- The principles of harm reduction
- Morris Home
- Pathways to Housing PA
- Housing First University
- My Chemical Romance
- Person-centered language
- The State of Homelessness: 2020 Edition report put out by the National Alliance to End Homelessness
- The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey put out by the National Center for Trans Equality
- The June Supreme Court ruling that held the Civil Rights Act protects LGBT people from discrimination based on sex.
- The Housing First model
- Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
- See pictures of Nugget the therapy dog here and here
- The murder of Dominique “Rem'mie” Fells
- YouTube videos of animals scaring people
Featured in This Episode
Andrew Spiers (he/him) is a licensed social worker who currently serves as the Director of Training & Technical Assistance at Pathways to Housing PA. He is passionate about the Housing First model, harm reduction, and equitable/affirming care for the LGBTQ+ community. You can find Andrew on his Twitter and Instagram.
Did you benefit from this episode? You can show your appreciation by supporting Andrew's work and causes that are important to him. You can send funds directly to Andrew through Venmo, Paypal, or the Cash App, which he will redistribute directly to Black trans women in his community who need financial support (he's happy to provide receipts!). Or you can donate to Morris Home.
The Queer Agenda
The Queer Agenda is a newsletter dedicated to uplifting LGBTQIA+ folks (where our accomplices benefit too) by sharing thoughtful tools, strategies, advice, and encouragement to help us heal and come home to ourselves. It’s equal parts warm hug, gentle kick in the ass, and queer magic.