DETROIT (WBJK) - Being homeless for the holidays is difficult and for Detroit's transgender population, help is even harder to come by. A transgender woman is working around the clock to ease the pain in time for Christmas Eve.
Julisa Abad has been working to help the transgender homeless people in Detroit for years. This year, she's hoping to help them even more at the holidays.
But many transgender women of Detroit have a problem getting work, real work.
"I'm part of the 60% that lives under $10,000," Julisa said.
That's $10,000 a year. And those are the lucky ones. 26% of transgendered are unemployed so some turn to prostitution.
"Unfortunately, a lot of the girls who don't have the same advantages of a job are on Six Mile and Woodward to make a living and survive," Julisa said.
For many in the transexual community, Six Mile and Woodward is where they work. Why? The money is good. they do it becaus the money is good.
"If it's a good night, I can make $500 a night," one transgender, who goes by 'Ashley', said.
Transgender women are four times more likely than straight people to be homeless, beaten up and even killed.
"Because I'm a transgender and most people that hire, they're going to be looking at that application and say 'your name says this but you have hair, earings, make up, heels'," Ashley said.
To help the homeless and transgender population, Julisa is holding an event this Christmas Eve at Menjo's. From 7 to 11, they'll provide hot meals, winter clothing, free HIV testing, and help to get off the streets.
"My purpose is to, regardless of what we have to go through in our struggles, to let every trans woman in the detroit area that feels alone to know that she is lvoed and she has a place to come," Julisa said.