Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell announced Wednesday he will seek an additional $180,000 to expand programs that help transgender people engaging in sex work or experiencing homelessness.
Under the Midnight Stroll and After Hours Cafe programs, volunteer outreach workers walk along Santa Monica Boulevard between Vermont and La Brea avenues in Hollywood to provide water, food and clothing vouchers, while also promoting HIV testing and other services. The programs also provides some emergency shelter beds.
The programs were originally allocated $80,000 in 2019. The newly proposed financial infusion would be for a two-year term, with the option to extend it another year.
“This is one community that is still often the most marginalized and certainly the most misunderstood, and it’s a community that certainly needs our help and support,” O’Farrell said before council’s vote last year.
The Midnight Stroll and After Hours Cafe was launched by the Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team in January 2017 in collaboration with the Los Angeles Transgender Advisory Council and The Wall Las Memorias Project, along with support from O’Farrell, the Los Angeles Police Department and several community partners.
The additional funding would be made available to the APAIT and to other organizations that help transgender people.
O’Farrell’s motion also asks city staff to study whether independent contractors could be employed to provide occasional assistance for the programs rather than city employees.
The motion was bypassed through City Council committee review and will be placed on Friday’s meeting agenda.
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