The Name Change Project by the Numbers
The Name Change Project provides community members with free legal representation during the name change process, which can be challenging for many who do not have legal support. Since the program began as a pilot project in 2007, we have helped almost 2,000 people in nearly a dozen cities including Albany, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Rochester and others. There are more cities to come, too.
The project relies on the pro bono assistance of our many partners in the legal community. In 2014, those partners donated more than 8,000 hours, worth over $4 million, in support of TLDEF’s work in the community. We are extraordinarily grateful for their generosity and the impact that it has on the lives of the community members we serve.
Name Change Project clients are overwhelmingly young transgender women of color living in poverty. Almost 350 people contacted us for help through the Name Change project in 2014. (These intakes are separate from the hundreds of requests for legal assistance we receive unrelated to the Name Change Project.)
Nearly two-thirds were transgender women and over half were people of color, predominantly African American and Latino.
Name Change Project clients in 2014 were young, too: Over 40% were under 24; about 20% were 24 – 29, a little over 20% were age 30 – 39; and only 15% were over 40.
Project clients in 2014 were also largely poor or low-income. Nearly two-thirds received Medicaid or another form of public assistance. Nearly 60% of clients reported an annual income of less than $10,000. About 20% reported an annual income between $10,000 and $20,000. And only about 20% reported an income over $20,000.
Demand for services in 2015 has increased and we are on track to serve more than 400 people nationwide through the project this year. The Name Change Project offers vital assistance to the people we serve. We are proud to help all of our Name Change Project clients bring their legal names in line with their true identities to help them live authentic lives.