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Home for LGBTQ youth in Indianapolis opens as transitional housing

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Posted at 6:54 PM, May 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-28 15:56:00-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Trinity Haven is Indiana’s very first residential program specifically created for LGBTQ youth and young adults who are experiencing homelessness or housing instability.

Eight young people will share the house along with two residential staff members. Together they will learn about each other and help hold each other accountable as they learn to navigate life on their own.

Jenni White is the Executive Director of Trinity Haven. White said something like this has been needed for a long time.

“We have learned from several young people who have come up through the system that it’s just not safe. That people don’t always support our understand who we are as human beings simply for our sexual orientation or gender identity," she said.

Right now, there are four young people living at the home. They are working with people like Brit Hemphill, who is a youth engagement specialist with Trinity Haven.

“I get the opportunity to provide case management, help every youth that comes through our program work towards their goals and then their final goal of sustainable housing,” Hemphill said. “It is really empowering and really important to have safe and affirming housing and that’s something that our LGBTQ community in Indianapolis we haven’t really had a lot of options for that.”

Staff members of Trinity Haven wish housing support like this had come along sooner, but they are grateful to be part of something that will make such a difference in people’s lives.

“I think the community has been needing this for a long time and I can’t remember anything that was catered to my specific needs as an LGBTQ youth. I think it’s an amazing thing to be able to give back in the way that I wish I had when I was younger,” Kelsey Kennedy, Host Homes Program Coordinator said.

Trinity Haven is primarily funded through individual donors and private foundations along with several faith-based organizations.

The home is one of two housing programs they provide. Trinity Haven also has a housing program where individuals or families can open up their homes and host a young person.

The program is a shorter commitment of six months, but still makes a major difference in young people’s lives.

To learn more about how you can help support Trinity Haven, click here.