Indiana’s first home for LGBTQ youth, Trinity Haven, has named Jenni White executive director. The Indianapolis home will open this summer and is the first of its kind in the state of Indiana.
White is a member of the LGBTQ community and has experience working with transitional housing and homelessness in her previous position as vice president of mission impact at Coburn Place Safe Haven since 2010.
Trinity Haven offers a safe, welcoming transitional home for LGBTQ youth ages 16-21. When it opens, Trinity Haven will be able to serve as many as 10 youth at a time, with the potential to eventually house 15 or more.
“All homelessness is tragic, but homeless LGBTQ youth are in deep and immediate peril,” Leigh Ann Hirschman, Trinity Haven board chair, said in a news release. “Many are terrified to ask for help from programs not tailored to their needs.”
Trinity Haven will contract with IYG to provide the house programming. IYG, a United Way organization, has offered programming and assistance for LGBTQ youth since 1987. IYG will also offer resources through its connections in the community.
There will be Trinity Church representation on the Trinity Haven board, but as a minority, with no more than 30 percent representation. The goal is for Trinity Haven to operate independently and to draw on expertise throughout the community. There are no religious requirements for residents of Trinity Haven.
So far, $900,000 of the $1.5 million needed to complete Trinity Haven has been raised. Lilly Endowment has gifted the home $300,000 in capital support for the project and Impact 100 of Greater Indianapolis gave a grant of $100,000 for renovations. Other donors include the Faith & Action Project at Christian Theological Seminary, the Mike L. and Sue L. Smith Family Fund, Trinity Episcopal Church, St. Richard’s Episcopal School, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention.
Renovations are underway, and the approval process with the Indiana Department of Child Services has begun.
The Trinity Haven staff will include an executive director, program administrator, case managers, and trained staff members. Trinity Haven is currently looking to fill several positions in the coming weeks.