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Emergency homeless shelters to provide 'gender-affirming care' under Biden plan

 On Monday, the Biden administration's Interagency Council on Homelessness announced an updated homelessness prevention plan that includes teaching emergency shelters how to provide "gender-affirming care" to homeless people, Fox News Digital reported.

The All In: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness aims to reduce homelessness by 25% by 2025 and "combat the systemic racism that has created racial and ethnic disparities in homelessness."

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, approximately 580,466 people experienced homelessness in 2020.

"My plan offers a roadmap for not only getting people into housing but also ensuring that they have access to the support, services, and income that allow them to thrive," said President Joe Biden on Monday. "It is a plan that is grounded in the best evidence and aims to improve equity and strengthen collaboration at all levels."

The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which consists of 19 federal agencies, lists its core values as racial equity, inclusion, and the decriminalization of homelessness. 

"Housing should be treated as a human right," said USICH Executive Director Jeff Olivet. "Many Americans ask, 'Is it possible to end homelessness?' The answer is, yes, the United States can end homelessness by fixing systems—not by blaming the people being failed by them." The first strategy in USICH's plan, which includes maximizing existing federal housing assistance, will foster partnerships between housing, aging and disability services, and health care providers to "connect program participants to culturally appropriate and gender-affirming housing resources."

To maximize current resources, the department plans to "provide guidance, training, and technical assistance on accessible and inclusive models and approaches" for gender-affirming care.

"The key components to effective emergency shelter include culturally appropriate, gender-affirming, and specific, low-barrier access and housing-focused services aimed at rapid exits back to permanent housing," the USICH plan stated.

The homelessness plan defined "gender-affirming care" as the "utilization of a gender affirmation framework in providing care, treatment, and support services." However, the over 100-page plan did not explicitly identify what types of "gender-affirming" care would be provided.

The USICH will host webinars next year to help communities implement the strategies outlined in the plan on a local level to work towards the administration's goal of reducing homelessness by 2025.

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