Description of Program
What is the intervention/program/project?
Trans Connect is a project that provides support, resources and better access to health services for transgender and gender variant folks in the East and West Kootenays, including HIV prevention education. Trans Connect also provides educational workshops and resources for service providers, educators, mental health workers, businesses and police in the Kootenays. It supports organizations in changing policies to make them more supportive of transgender and gender variant people.
What is the goal/objective of the intervention/program/project?
1.) To increase the knowledge and skills of rural community service providers, health care providers, police, educators, mental health workers and the general public on Trans Awareness
2.) To provide a resource and referral network for trans folk & service providers
3.) To connect rural trans folk to each other and to services in the East and West Kootenays, including peer-support
Why was the intervention/program/project originally developed?
The program was developed to provide health, social support and referrals for people who are transgender/transitioning/gender variant in the region. It was also developed to educate and raise awareness in the community, as well as influence policy. The program has extended to address issues around violence, transphobia, and bullying.
How was the intervention/program/project developed?
ANKORS operated a “safe spaces” program with a focus on LGBT issues. The present coordinator had been working with a group named “Gender Outlaws” and saw a need for more education and support, as well as for reaching out to trans youth. Many transgender people were moving to the area from urban centers, or moving back to home communities. The coordinator, who had been a previous volunteer, took leadership in applying for funding.
OrganizationAIDS Network Kootenay Outreach and Support Society (ANKORS)
- Service providers
- Sexual minorities
Name: Christopher Moore
Position: Program Coordinator
Agency: AIDS Network Kootenay Outreach and Support Society (ANKORS)
The coordinator has an office at ANKORS in Nelson and travels out to other communities in the East and West Kootenays. The website is a form of outreach and a resource hub that extends the program beyond its geographic catchment area.
Project ResourcesFilm, presentations and other resources can be shared upon request.
Resources for Program
- Program coordinator.
- Advisory group.
- Films for viewing.
- One full-time staff.
- Transportation for staff member.
DurationProvince/Territory: East and West Kootenays, British Columbia The coordinator has an office at ANKORS in Nelson and travels out to other communities. The website is a form of outreach and a resource hub that extends the program beyond its geographic catch
Process monitoring or evaluation
- Number of workshop participants. Funding reports are written on a six month, yearly and project basis. Internal evaluation mechanisms, such as monthly reports and evaluations from workshops, are in place.
Audience/client feedback and satisfaction
- Participants evaluate workshops.
Evaluation TermsAudience/client feedback and satisfaction, Process monitoring or evaluation
- The reach of the program beyond geographic boundaries was a surprise – people are linking in from other communities in B.C. due to the program’s website. The distance people travel for the program is indicative of the need for this kind of program in other communities.
- The need for support to trans youth exceeded initial expectations. Linking with families and providing educational opportunities and awareness for supporting children has been key.
- The need to address harassment and violence as a community, and build on opportunities that exist in this as well, is a learning. The relationship with the RCMP and local police has greatly improved through the program.
- The program has faced an ongoing funding challenge. As the program reaches out and gains more traction, the lack of core funding has implications for the ability to plan for the next five years.
- Uncovering challenging situations, such as harassment and bullying, is challenging for people to face and support.