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Starting at Western Avenue and armed with clothing vouchers, granola bars and condoms, they headed down Santa Monica Boulevard in groups, turning onto side streets and peering into alleys.
Less than five minutes in, Teanna Herrera — who works as an advocate for transgender people at St. Several dozen volunteers have met five times since January for the Midnight Stroll — an initiative organized by various LGBTQ groups and Los Angeles city agencies that reaches out to those on the street, including transgender sex workers and the homeless population. On the walk back from Western Avenue, the volunteers invited those they met on the streets to come back to the theater for food; a mobile HIV testing unit was parked nearby.
The Midnight Stroll grew out of discussions between the LAPD and transgender community leaders, two groups whose relationship has improved ificantly in recent years, said Karina Samala, chair of the Transgender Advisory Council. Community leaders have assisted in training police on how to interact with transgender individuals, including respecting their preferred gender identity.
And those crimes are affecting the community. Many of the transgender people the volunteers encounter are homeless.
About an hour later, Olaes came across Mimi, a year-old transgender woman who said she dreams of helping others by opening a transgender homeless shelter. Mimi — who wore a black dress and red Converse sneakers — said she had been on a waiting list at the LGBT Center for two months and planned to visit other shelters next week. Twitter: leilamillersays. Leila Miller is a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. She is fluent in Spanish. Billie Eilish on surviving teen fame and trauma, and how she finally stopped reading the comments. All Sections. About Us.
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