More on the Morris Home, Country’s First Holistic Trans Treatment Program

***Correction*** The Morris Home is not a shelter in the classic sense, but a treatment center where the city’s trans and gender-variant populations can receive holistic health services.

Jaden’s Story

Jaden Hensley has trouble finding employment due to his felony record. He dealt with depression from a young age and ran away, committing petty thefts and other crimes to support his transient lifestyle. “Everybody thought I was this girl,” he said. “I was never comfortable at home – I felt like I couldn’t be me. I didn’t belong anywhere.”

Hensley’s story is not atypical among those in the trans and gender
variant community. According to a study by Lee Carson with the
Philadelphia Health Management Corporation, transgender people are more
likely to suffer from depression and anxiety, to be alienated from
support systems and to have criminal histories.

Hensley began hormone therapy, including testosterone, subsidized by the Mazzoni Center and found that his depression lifted to the point that he was able to stop taking his mental health medications. “I just feel like this is the person I was always meant to be,” he said.

Now that Hensley has connected with others in the trans and gender variant community, he hopes to one day start a nonprofit providing LGBT services. “My entire mentality changed. It’s not, ‘Let me go out and commit this felony to have money and friends, but let me go out and sell papers  and do whatever I have to do to help everybody. Today, its about everybody else, not me.”

The Morris Home

Named for Nizah Morris, a transgendered woman murdered at 16th and Market streets in Dec. 2002, The Morris Home for Trans and Gender-Variant People will open its doors in mere weeks.

Run by the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services and funded by the city, the treatment center will be the first in the country to offer comprehensive physical and behavioral health services specifically for the transgender community.

“You really can’t work with the trans community without being holistic,” Deputy Commissioner Sade Ali said. “We will provide culturally-appropriate services, not only for the LGBT community, but by the LGBT community.”

Issues addressed will include transitioning safely – “The use of street hormones and silicone injectables are a huge problem,” Ali said, – as well as dealing with the deep-seated emotional trauma and behavioral effects that result from “not being in the body they believe they belong in.”

An Underserved Population

3,000-10,000 is the wide-ranged estimate by the city Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability for the number of transgender and gender-variant people in Philadelphia. This broad range is a reflection of how understudied and underserved the population is, which Ali openly admits and said she is trying to change.

“The L, G and B have been well-addressed, but the T is often an afterthought,” Ali said. “We’re trying to open a center that will address that population with the wholism that is so greatly needed.”

“Philly Establishing Transgender Shelter”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…