Trans Hope Fund

What is the Trans Hope Fund?

The Trans Hope Fund is a pilot project of Moose Jaw Pride, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Moose Jaw Branch and Journey to Hope Moose Jaw. The Trans Hope Fund is a bursary program that aims to help transgender and gender diverse people access gender-affirming care by reducing the financial burden of getting to medical appointments or legally changing their name or gender-markers.

Why is the Trans Hope Fund Important?

Gender-affirming care for transgender people has been acknowledged as life saving treatment by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health and many others. Gender-affirming care is essential in improving quality of life for trans people. Inability to access this care is damaging to mental health, causes loss of hope, and contributes to very high rates of self harm and suicide in the transgender community.

Gender-affirming care can include the following services accessed by a transgender individual in relation to a gender transition:

Mental health counselling
Psychological or psychiatric assessment
Hormone therapy
Surgical care
Legal document changes

There is often a financial barrier to accessing gender-affirming care. Costs related to care may include paperwork fees, lost wages during appointments, and out-of-pocket payment for specialist appointments and medications not covered by insurance or Sask Health. Distance is an additional barrier, particularly in small communities like Moose Jaw. Appropriate care providers are often located far away, which may require taking extra time off work and which increases costs for travel, accommodation, and meals.

How can I donate to support the fund?

To make a donation to the Trans Hope Fund that is eligible for a charitable tax credit, please visit:
https://cmhasandbox.microsoftcrmportals.com/new-donation/

To make sure your donation goes to the right place:
1. Be sure to check the box for “Local Branch” and select Moose Jaw from the list
2. Write “Trans Hope Fund” in the notes section

You can also make out a cheque to CMHA Moose Jaw Branch with “Trans Hope Fund” as the memo line. Just mail it to:

CMHA Moose Jaw Branch
650 Coteau St W
Moose Jaw, SK S6H 5E6

Applying for a Bursary – Individual Eligibility

To apply for a bursary, an individual must:
1. Be a resident of the (former) Five Hills Health Region;
2. Identify in some way as transgender or gender diverse; AND
3. Have traveled 50 km or more to receive gender affirming care OR have gender-identity related reasons for changing their name or gender marker on government issued identification

As we do not require proof of income from individuals applying to this program, we trust applicants to apply only if they are in financial need. While we do our best to accommodate everyone, there are no guarantees that an individual’s application will be approved.

Expense Eligibility

An individual may file one claim in 2018 for amounts totalling up to a maximum of $200. An individual may claim expenses incurred while accessing gender affirming care from January 1, 2017 to the present (up to December 31, 2018). These expenses must not have been already covered by this fund or by another organization (e.g. Hope Air).

Eligible expenses include:

Travel by taxi, bus or air (receipts required)
Personal vehicle mileage ($0.30/km)
Accommodations (receipts required)
Meals (per diems)
Fees relating to a transition-related legal name change (receipts required)
Fees relating to a gender marker change (receipts required)
Medical note fee relating to this application (receipts required)

What Expenses Are Not Eligible?

Medications
Surgical costs
Private counselling
Childcare
Missed work opportunities / sick time
Expenses incurred outside of Canada
Other expenses as determined by the Trans Hope Fund administration committee

The Trans Hope Fund is intended to reduce barriers to accessing gender-affirming care in terms of travel, meals, accommodations, and administrative fees (name change, gender marker, medical note fees). The fund is not intended to subsidize healthcare services.

Additional Coverage

Hope Air offers free airfare to medical appointments relating to gender affirming care. Individuals in financial need could potentially have their airfare paid by Hope Air for an out of province appointment and then submit a claim to the Trans Hope Fund for meals, taxi fares, and accommodations. For more information about Hope Air, visit: https://hopeair.ca

When and How are Funds Distributed?

Bursary applications will be evaluated by the administration committee at the end of every month. Our goal is to evaluate all applications within one month or less. We work based on a first come, first served model.

Bursaries will be paid by cheque, after expenses are incurred and claimed. No funds will be distributed before the actual expense (for travel, accommodation, etc.) has occurred.

Due to limited funding for the Trans Hope Fund, there are no guarantees that a bursary will always be available. However, we will do our best to post updates to the Moose Jaw Pride website about the availability of bursaries.

How Will the Committee Evaluate Applications?

The following criteria will be used to evaluate applications:

The applicant meets the individual criteria
The application is complete
Claimed expenses are determined to be eligible
Adequate receipts (if applicable) are submitted
Funding is available

Privacy & Confidentiality

The process for the Trans Hope Fund is intended to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of the applicant. Applications will be reviewed by the Trans Hope Fund Committee and applicant names may also be shared with Moose Jaw Pride’s authorized individuals issuing cheques as well as Moose Jaw Pride’s bookkeepers, accountants, or auditors who review all organizational expenses.

How to Apply to the Trans Hope Fund:

Application forms for the Trans Hope Fund can be accessed online or in person at the Moose Jaw Pride Office.

Download the Medical Note Below

Download the Expense Claim Form Below

Completed forms can be returned to the organization by any of the following means:

By email: [email protected]

By mail:
Moose Jaw Pride Inc.
c/o St. Andrew’s United
60 Athabasca St. E.
Moose Jaw, SK
Canada | S6H 0L2

In person:
Moose Jaw Pride drop in centre, St Andrew’s United Church (west entrance)
Open Thursdays from 2:00-7:00 PM, or by appointment.

What Does the Application Require?

Proof of Address
We require a copy of a document as proof that the individual resides within the Five Hills Health Region and that their address is 50 km or more from the location of their care. Acceptable proof would include driver’s licenses or other government issued identification, or utility bills. Please contact us if you have any concerns about your ability to meet this requirement (e.g. legal name does not match your current name) and we will work with you to find an appropriate solution.

Trans Hope Fund – Medical Note
This form must be completed for all claims except for the Legal Name Change or Gender Marker change forms.

Expense Claim Form
This form is a summary of all of the expenses being claimed.

Receipts
Please be sure to include copies of your receipts for all claims (except for travel with a personal vehicle and per diem meal expenses).

Who Sponsors the Trans Hope Fund?

Journey to Hope Moose Jaw and CMHA Moose Jaw are the lead sponsors of the fund and assist with its administration.

For more information, please contact:

Joe Wickenhauser, Executive Director of Moose Jaw Pride:
(306) 692-3388
[email protected]

Feedback?

The Trans Hope Fund is currently in a pilot project stage. There are many different ways this program could change and evolve in the future. As organizers, there are some perspectives that we understand and others that we haven’t thought about yet. Please help us improve the program by submitting your feedback to: [email protected]