“Never ever let somebody tell you what you cannot do or who you cannot be”
-Princess Janae Banks, October 2010
One of the excuses I hear when I make the repeated call for Black trans led organizations to get more significant levels of funding to do their needed and necessary work in our community is funders claiming they don’t know of any Black trans led orgs or aren’t aware of what they do.
Time to fix that problem.
Princess Janae Place in New York’s Bronx borough is named for the late Princess Janae Banks.
She was born On February 8, 1970 in Brooklyn, New York and was tossed out of her home at age 19 when she came out as transgender to her family. Banks was an iconic entertainer, pageant and ballroom performer for nearly 25 years in the New York tri-state region who died from lymphoma cancer after a long battle to beat it on September 16, 2013.
Banks was also a fierce advocate for the TBLGQ community. Probably because of her experiences with being homeless and housing insecure, she focused her advocacy on trans individuals at risk of becoming homeless or facing housing insecurity.
Princess Janae Place was founded in 2015 by its Executive Director Jevon Martin to continue Banks’ advocacy around tackling the issues of housing affecting transgender and gender non conforming people.
Princess Janae Place, Inc is located at 2526 Wallace Ave in the Bronx, and is New York State’s first and only community based housing organization led by and for people of trans experience. With the motto of ‘Housing is Healthcare’, Princess Janae Place, seeks to not only continue to make a dent in that problem. but provide a safe and welcoming space to the New York transgender and GNC community.
PJP’s mission is to help people of trans experience maximize their full potential by providing residential, educational, clinical, and recreational services that create and nurture connections to the community and the world.
Since Princess Janae Place sees safe and affordable housing as a human right, it provides housing navigation services that include:
*Referrals to public, state and city housing vouchers
*Assistance in completing housing application
*Support in navigating the housing market
*General education on housing rights
*Referrals to a prescreened group of landlords and realtors with experience working with trans and gender non conforming individuals
*Referrals to non profit partners that provide housing.
PJP It also along with its partner organizations provides a wide array of case management services that include:
*GED preparedness and continuing education opportunities,
*Culturally competent health care, HIV prevention and testing
*Job readiness and preparedness programs that include resume review, access to professional clothing , job interview preparation and job referrals
*Mental health and counseling services
*Substance abuse treatment and support groups
PJP also has an ongoing peep led support and social networking group entitled ‘Let’s Talk’ that covers a wide array of topics such as transitioning, medical care and surgery resources, harassment, discrimination and violence, and housing homelessness.
PJP participates in many events and functions in the New York Tri State area, and also conducts a Princess Pageant. On October 6 it will hold a benefit show featuring the PJP Pageant court from 6;30-8:30 PM EDT at Zambo Aroma in the Bronx.
You can get your tickets for it at this link.
It can use you help to keep these services essential to the New York and tri state trans and GNC community operating and free to PJP members.
If you need any further information concerning Princess Janae Place’s programs or events, the address is 2526 Wallace Ave, Bronx, NY 10467. Their phone number is (718) 684-1688 and you can also access and like their Facebook page here.