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Fort Wayne transgender man says homeless shelter denied him; seeks new place to stay

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) – A Fort Wayne transgender man says a homeless shelter denied his request to stay with them. The man is now seeking a new place to stay.

30-year-old Jesse Imbody is transitioning from a female to a male. He said the transition started six weeks ago.

Imbody is currently homeless and has stayed at the Y-W-C-A in Fort Wayne for the past two months. However, his deadline to find a new place to stay is approaching.

Imbody said he called the Charis House in Fort Wayne, a shelter for women and children, and they denied his request to stay.

“I got the phone call back stating that they don’t accept me just because I am a transgender,” Imbody said. “That hurt. I felt like that was a slap in the face.”

The Charis House is ran by the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission Ministries Foundation. CEO, Donovan Coley denied an on camera interview, however, he said Jesse’s situation is “complicated.”

Coley said the Rescue Mission is for men and the Charis House is for women.

Imbody said he doesn’t feel comfortable staying at the Rescue Mission. He said he wishes the Fort Wayne community would come together for a third option.

“I think there needs to be a shelter for people like me, that are trans, bi-sexual, gay, they need to have that safe-haven so that they can go to and feel comfortable and safe and not feel like they’re outcasted just because they’re a little different,” Imbody said.

According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, one in five transgender individuals experience homelessness.

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Louie Tran

Louie Tran is the weekend anchor for Fort Wayne’s NBC at 6 and 11pm and a weekday general assignment reporter. To share story ideas, please email him at

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