Activists Reach Out to Hollywood’s Transgender and Homeless Population

Local news

Midnight Stroll activists Angela Cristobal, right, and Teanna Herrera talk with passersby on Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood on June 30, 2017. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

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It was close to midnight Friday when the volunteers got off an MTA bus and began their two-hour walk through Hollywood’s streets.

Starting at Western Avenue and armed with clothing vouchers, granola bars and condoms, they headed down Santa Monica Boulevard in groups, turning onto side streets and peering into alleys.

Less than five minutes in, Teanna Herrera — who works as an advocate for transgender people at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica — was encouraging two people on a bus bench to visit the clinic to learn about hormone therapy.

“I’ve done what they’re doing,” said Herrera, 49, explaining that she had been a prostitute on those same streets at age 16. “[I want] to let them know: ‘I know what it’s like to be out here … and there’s hope for every one of us.’”

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