Contributing Author: Marianne Sparan
Published: June 30, 2015
In order to serve the needs of the LGBTQ community in Fairfield County, Triangle Community Center (TCC) offers a number of different programs and services. One of those services is Case Management, a free service that aims to connect self-identified LGBTQ clients living in Fairfield County to programs and services to address their needs. Over the past seven months, the highest number of client requests at TCC has been for transgender related referrals.
TCC currently offers two different regular programs geared toward the transgender community in Fairfield County. They include the Triangle Transgender Society, which is a safe place for transgender people and their supporters and the Transgender/Gender Questioning Youth Forum. The youth forum seeks to create an open and accepting environment for youth up to age 24, who may identify anywhere on the transgender spectrum including but not limited to transgender, genderqueer, or gender questioning identities.
Jacki Alessio, Service Coordinator and Case Manager at TCC, stated that despite these services provided “there are still critical unmet needs for services to our transfolk of color, particularly surrounding housing, criminal justice involvement, violence prevention, employment discrimination, and sex work”.
Due to this need for transgender resources and supports, TCC is helping to foster partnerships between different organizations to further the exposure of available transgender related resources in Fairfield County. One example is the formal partner-network relationship between the Circle Care Center in Norwalk and the Center for Family Justice in Bridgeport. Alessio helped facilitate this connection through her involvement with the Center for Family Justice’s advisory group meetings for the Operations/Service Delivery workgroup.
The Circle Care Center provides comprehensive medical and mental health services. They offer services in and related to primary care, HIV/AIDS, and sexual health. Circle Care Center was recently accredited by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) for healthcare services to the transgender community. Since November, TCC has referred more than 30 clients and community members to utilize the services provided by the Circle Care Center.
The Center for Family Justice provides services to break the cycle of domestic, sexual, and child abuse and violence. The Center provides advocacy and counseling, as well as a 24/7 crisis hotline and an emergency shelter. TCC consults the Center for these concerns related to LGBTQ individuals. Together, this may allow for more awareness of transgender competent services and agencies throughout Fairfield County.