Salvation Army Denies Shelter to Trans Woman Who Fled Hometown Over Death Threats

168701_117768574961321_1194237_nIt’s getting kind of hard to tell whether the Salvation Army is good or evil. We know that they had some pretty terrible attitudes about LGBTs in the past, but then they tried to turn over a new leaf, but it didn’t go very well, so they’re still kind of working through their issues even as they deny that they ever even had issues to begin with.

But the organization also does a lot of good work for disadvantaged people! So they’re clearly not all bad. Except sometimes they run into problems, such as a recent fuss in Dallas in which staffers started quizzing a housing applicant about her genitals.

Dallas Voice reports Jodielynn Wiley needed housing, and applied for a two-year program with the Salvation Army. She had fled Paris, Texas due to death threats and needed a place to live.

During an interview process, someone (either a counselor or a case worker) asked her if she’d had surgery to correct her gender. She hadn’t, and so they turned her down.

It seems like the Salvation Army is once again villainous here. But there’s a promising twist: a director at the Salvation Army’s Carr P. Collins Social Service Center told reporters that it was a mistake to ask questions about a client’s surgery, and that placement is based on self-identified gender.

For her part, Wiley has filed a complaint with the Fair Housing Office, so one way or another the matter will hopefully be cleared up soon. And hopefully no one else will have to undergo the same sort of inappropriate questioning.

Photo credit: Facebook

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  • Mezaien

    For years I call it “The Starvation Army” and stopped supporting them.

  • Harley

    The one thing we can ALWAYS rely on the Salvation Army to do is to be there, in one’s time of need during disasters, to provide coffee and donuts.

  • Kangol

    The Salvation Army is very conservative. I hadn’t realized this until I was older, but they push these policies all over the country and globe.

    I’m very glad that this woman at least got out of a homophobic, abusive environment, and I hope she finds affordable shelter and some support.

  • sweetbrandigirl2004

    Now for the rest of the story as Paul Stanley would say. Thi women was standing at the salvation army but they have a time limit on how long one can stay. It expired and she was asking them if there was anywhere else she could stay they said the only other program they have was a women’s shelter. In The women’s shelter there are two people to a room and the bathroom are all european which means there’s one big bathroom at the end of the hall per floor and everyone uses it. They have open showers in european bathrooms. She was asked if she had GRS surgery yet when she responded NO. she was told that wasn’t going to work. So as you can see the Salvation Army had helped her even though she is transgender and her was willing to help her again if she had been post-op. I can fully understand the Salvation Army’s concern and don’t feel as though they discriminated against her at all.

    As far as the Dallas Non discrimination Policy goes it doesn’t cover “Free” housing in a charity program it strictly deals with rental housing such as houses, apt and hotel room. Also the Salvation Army is a Christian Org so they could fall back on the Religious exemption that in the non discrimination policy if need be.

    I have found in the passed that the Salvation Army has helped many gay ,Lesbian and trans people despite their religious beliefs so I find it very unfair to bash them just because one trans person who doesn’t meet the qualification for a women’s shelter gets deny entry.

  • sangsue


    Actually it’s not Paul Stanley. It’s Paul Harvey.

  • jayj150

    That’s a man regardless of how he chooses to identify himself. If he in fact were experiencing sexual dysphoria, he would have taken measures to correct it, beyond putting on a bad wig and some make up. The Salvation Army has a perfectly valid, reasonable concern here: the shelter is designed for women trying to escape abusive environments, most often than not created by MEN. The last thing these women need is being forced to share a shower with a man with a fetish. There are numerous documented cases of women being sexually assaulted by men like him in spaces that are supposed to be for women-only: prisons, public bathrooms, gyms, etc. But of course women’s safety is secondary to the fetish of one man.

  • Harley

    @jayj150: And if she were put in a men’s facility she would certainly be victimized, beaten, gang raped, and/or murdered. Christian organizations still have their “lepers” that they must shun in order to show how “Christian” they are.

Comments are closed.