Jevon Martin found his purpose in life early. “To help and to be of service,” he says. “I know that’s my purpose.”
That has often meant welcoming people who have nowhere to go into his home. “I almost got evicted for having too many people in my apartment,” he says. “So I said, let me start a nonprofit.”
At Princess Janae Place, Mr. Martin helps members of New York’s Black transgender community who are experiencing homelessness navigate the transition to stable housing.
As a Black transgender man himself, Mr. Martin has seen many of the unique struggles facing this community up close. Homelessness is widespread. Shelters promise roof and a bed, but they offer little security for those perceived as different. Mistreatment is also pervasive.
But lately, Mr. Martin has found new cause for hope as the trans community has taken to the streets in recent months to call attention to the challenges it faces.
“Just seeing the amount of people come out and support the trans community ... it lifted my spirit,” he says. “It made me feel that we are being seen.”