City-Funded Transgender Center Closes Its Doors

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    NEWSLETTERS

    News4's Jackie Bensen has the latest details on why a crucial organization aiding the transgendered community in DC had to close its doors. (Published Tuesday, Oct 29, 2013)

    A plague of financial trouble caught up with Transgender Health Empowerment (T.H.E.) in the District this week.

    The city-funded organization housed on North Capitol Street NW was a go-to for many members of the transgender community to seek help, advice or shelter since 2004.

    However, the center had struggled financially since 2008, according to an article from the Washington Blade. By July 2013, T.H.E. had already accumulated $500,000 in debt and had failed to pay more than $260,000 in employee payroll taxes.

    The District pulled its funding for the center in July.

    "Showers, laundry, meals, coming in and getting HIV/AIDS testing free... all that stuff is no longer existing," LGTB activist and T.H.E. employee Earline Budd told News4. "Being staff members, we committed our lives to serving the agency ... not getting that pay for three or four pay periods was just too much."

    Budd said she and other employees are trying to gather funds to reopen the facility.

    "The doors are just shut. It's heartbreaking," Budd said.

    Calls to an attorney representing T.H.E. Tuesday were not returned.