Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico: Building Communities Despite COVID-19 Setbacks

Amidst this pandemic, nonprofits are helping millions of families who are living day to day without safe housing or a stable means of income. The LGBTQ+ community, especially our transgender siblings, have been hit especially hard.

Transgender people of color were six times more likely than the national average to be unemployed prior to the pandemic. In a New York Times article, Trans Lifeline – a national trans-led hotline for peer-to-peer support – noted that since social distancing directives, their call volume has increased tremendously – 4-5 times the normal calls regarding unemployment and workplace discrimination and 3 times the calls regarding healthcare and violence.

For over a decade, the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico (TGRCNM) has combated these challenges with support, community, and connection. TGRCNM typically provides support groups, training, a drop in center, and food access programs. Transgender folks could come to the TGRCNM for legal advice regarding sexual harassment or discrimination at school and work. They could find guidance on obtaining updated New Mexico ID documents.

Adjusting at lightening speed, TGRCNM is bringing back a sense of community and helpful resources for New Mexico’s transgender community even amid the pandemic.

Back in April, they successfully reopened their drop in center for essential services to the transgender community. They have implemented safety protocols to protect their staff, volunteers, and the entire community while providing food access, health care, harm reduction, and case management programs.

They reopened their community thrift store, Thrift-A-Lot, at the beginning of June, implementing strict safety measures to protect their customers and volunteers.

They even moved most of their support groups online to maintain the sense of community they’ve built over the years.

TGRCNM continues to advocate for transgender and non-binary individuals, as well as assisting organizations throughout New Mexico with crafting and implementing transgender policy. Transgender 101 and 201 trainings are available via Zoom, so be sure to reach out if you or your group needs this fun and informative training. And, TGRCNM, has plans for the 2021 legislative session as well.

Co-founder and co-director Adrien Lawyer was proud to have their resources available once again. “We are so grateful and excited to have our drop-in center and our thrift store open to support our communities! TGRCNM has also continued to provide peer support, case management, advocacy, education, emergency financial assistance, and so much more to transgender and non-binary people throughout the pandemic. We are working hard to ensure that we are able to continue to do these things and more for folks here in New Mexico.”

TGRCNM has faced economic challenges like so many non-profits. Visit here to contribute or learn more about how you can help out.