Also: How Amazon could transform the tiny house movement, and the case against paper straws.

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What We’re Following

Finding space: Transgender and non-binary people are more likely to experience homelessness than other populations in the United States. Trans and non-binary teens in particular face even steeper obstacles to finding stable housing: They’re among the most vulnerable of urban populations. That’s why, in March, San Francisco opened the nation’s first transitional house built specifically for trans homeless youth.

While San Francisco has historically been a welcoming place for the LGBTQ community, that’s not necessarily the case for its shelters, or shelters anywhere. Young people often find living on the streets to be safer, and trans and non-binary people often try avoid shelters because they’re often misgendered or forced into facilities based on their birth certificate. By bringing trans teens together under one roof, the plan is to help young people find mutual support, connect them to schools and job training, and try to ensure that they only experience homelessness once. CityLab’s Sarah Holder visited shelters and spoke with the young people navigating another side of the American homelessness crisis. Read her story: Trans Teens, Trailed by Homelessness

Andrew Small

More on CityLab

How Amazon Could Transform the Tiny House Movement

Could the e-commerce giant help turn small-home living from a niche fad into a national housing solution?

Nolan Gray

The Roots of Jay-Z’s ‘Black Capitalism’

Now partnering with the NFL, Jay-Z centers wealth-building in his activism, as many African Americans have before him—but without much success.

Brentin Mock

Hong Kong’s Protests Have Cemented Its Identity

Chinese authorities have long sought to sway Hong Kongers, but more and more, residents of the city see it as being distinct from the mainland.

Timothy McLaughlin

The Case Against Paper Straws

They’re a single-use, disposable consumer item—a greener option, but not a green one.

Annie Lowrey

What Medicaid Data Reveals About Family Displacement in NYC

Researchers found that most low-income children in the city’s gentrifying neighborhoods stayed, even as affluent newcomers moved in.

Kriston Capps

Tunnel Vision


Did you see this week’s episode of Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj? The episode, “Why Your Public Transportation Sucks,” featured a factoid from a 2015 CityLab story about how people send more mean tweets to their public transit agencies than Medicare, the IRS, and United Airlines. We won’t spoil the joke, but you can watch the segment on YouTube.

Minhaj’s monologue digs into some other transportation-related stories that loyal CityLab readers may remember too, such as Trump administration’s slow-roll of federal transportation funding, the stalling of New York’s Gateway Project, and the Koch-brother-fueled campaigns against public transit ballot initiatives in Nashville in 2018 and Phoenix this year.

What We’re Reading

From blackouts to melting asphalt: How the climate crisis will change the way we live (The Guardian)

Thousands of autonomous delivery robots are about to descend on U.S. college campuses (The Verge)

Why so many suburbs look the same (Vox)

With lead contamination levels, Newark’s water crisis could be worse than Flint’s (Business Insider)

Elizabeth Warren calls for the repeal of the 1994 crime bill (Politico)

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