What are social determinants of health?
Social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age that shape health. They include factors like socioeconomic status, education, neighborhood and physical environment, employment, and social support networks, as well as access to health care. They also include negative, systemic social forces like racism and misogyny. Addressing social determinants of health is important for improving health and reducing longstanding disparities in health and health care.
Housing is a critical social determinant of health. Without stable and supportive housing, it is incredibly challenging for individuals to prioritize their health and well-being. It is well known that LGBTQ+ people make up a disproportionate group of people experiencing and recovering from homelessness and housing insecurity. This is driven, in part, by early experiences of discrimination, stigma, trauma, and social isolation, particularly the experience of being rejected from one’s biological family (and therefore shelter) for identifying and coming out as LGBTQ+.
Where to Go for HELP
Montgomery County Resources
Your Way Home is a public-private partnership that ensures that people experiencing homelessness receive fair and equitable access to existing emergency services based on their vulnerability, severity of need, and eligibility for specific programs. Your Way Home is committed to Safe and Inclusive Spaces- Emergency shelters in Montgomery County and will provide for the emotional and physical safety, inclusion, and support for all persons regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Your Way Home Montgomery County consumers shall be treated according to their self-reported gender identity regardless of appearance, genital or other physical characteristics, or inconsistent legal documentation (such as a driver’s license). Transgender people presenting for coordinated entry or any other Your Way Home program shall not to be turned away or referred to another shelter or program because of their transgender status, the length or extent of their gender transition, and/or because they do not meet the expectations of what a man or woman is supposed to look like. If you’re experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness, please contact Your Way Home by dialing 2-1-1. For further comments, questions and/or concerns, please contact Your Way Home at www.yourwayhome.org.
John C. Anderson Apartments
This facility is a unique, urban LGBT-friendly apartment community for seniors 62 years old and up.