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Hetrick-Martin Institute Launches First Citywide LGBTQ Youth Initiative

Monday Nov 9, 2015

On Monday, November 9, Hetrick-Martin Institute CEO Thomas Krever, along with New York City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, and members of the LGBTQ Caucus of the City Council of New York, unveiled HMI Goes Citywide for LGBTQ Youth, a first-of-its-kind six-part strategy aimed at addressing the systemic challenges facing at-risk LGBTQ youth on a variety of critical fronts. This announcement comes right before HMIs largest annual fundraiser, The Emery Awards, to be held November 17 at Cipriani's Wall Street, honoring Kiehl's President Chris Salgardo, gay talk show host Andy Cohen, and the cast and crew of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." Tony Award winner Lena Hall will perform a tributary homage.

"This City Council is proud to support LGBTQ youth with this new initiative," said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. "By providing health services that address the unique needs of LGBTQ youth, we are making a true difference in the lives of young New Yorkers who have often been neglected by the healthcare system in the past. I thank Council Member Carlos Menchaca, the Council LGBT Caucus and the Hetrick-Martin Institute for their leadership on this important issue."

Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI), the nation's oldest and largest nonprofit leader in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth programming, is launching a historic, citywide LGBTQ youth initiative, designed to bring comprehensive mental health and support services to young people across the five boroughs. In concert with the launch of this new initiative, HMI is proud to release "Living at the Intersection: LGBTQ Youth of Color in New York City," a new report that utilizes both extensive statistical data from HMI records as well as anecdotal evidence, providing a clear outline of why the initiative is an important and necessary step in our city's evolution and societal development at large.

With the goal of expanding access to care for LGBTQ youth and their families, HMI will partner with government and community-based agencies across the city, to provide LGBTQ youth -- especially youth of color, immigrant youth, homeless youth and court-involved youth -- comprehensive, life-saving mental health care.

"On behalf of the more than 2,000 LGBTQ youth of color that we serve annually, I would like to thank Councilmember Carlos Menchaca for spearheading this initiative. His leadership, coupled with the support and commitment of the entire City Council LGBTQ Caucus, have made it possible for HMI to extend our best practices model of care to reach some of the most marginalized youth in our city," states Thomas Krever, Chief Executive Officer of HMI.

Guided by HMI's more than 36 years of experience in supporting at-risk LGBTQ youth, this citywide initiative in sharing best practices will directly serve more than a thousand LGBTQ youth and countless more New York City residents in partnership with more than 50 agencies/CBOs.

"I have been an advocate for dedicated resources to our urban LGBTQ youth my entire life and I am proud to use my platform as an openly-gay NYC Council Member to bring attention to the continued need for comprehensive mental-health services for our community. Of course, HMI has been at the forefront of saving our young people's lives, and I am so happy to have them as a partner on this transformative initiative. Every day, we are more and more aware that we must address our community's issues as a whole-with wraparound services that are focused on our entire personhood. This initiative will help us to do that more effectively. I am proud to be part of this ground-breaking project," said Council Member Carlos Menchaca.

The program's six components are:

1) Convene LGBTQ Youth Summits in Each Borough: In January 2015, HMI held a first-of-its-kind (exploratory) LGBTQ Youth Summit bringing together over 150 LGBTQ young people from across the five boroughs. We will replicate these summits in each borough to connect LGBTQ youth and service providers, develop strategies, and enact programming, to effect change for the young people who need it most.

2) Strengthen and Re-Connect LGBTQ Youth and Their Families: HMI will provide a bilingual youth and family counselor to be placed in partner CBOs located in immigrant communities to help provide early intervention and family counseling services. HMI will also expand its street outreach services in all 5 boroughs to LGBTQ youth who are homeless.

3) Partner with Key New York City Agencies to Provide Access, Care-Coordination and Training Services for LGBTQ Youth: HMI is the sole partner of the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) in assessing the overall environment within their LGBTQ homeless youth shelters. HMI will partner with the Departments of Education, Probation, Youth and Family Justice, and the Administration for Children Services, to provide on-site technical support, instruction in best practices, and personalized client-centered services, to LGBTQ youth within their systems.

4) Mental Health Trainings: HMI's mental health team will provide comprehensive trainings to more than 50 community-based organizations and city agencies across the five boroughs, through on-site workshops, city wide webinars, and training summits, on how to effectively support and care for LGBTQ youth struggling with mental health challenges.

5) Expand Service Capacity on Saturday: HMI will expand our Saturday hours and program services (i.e. mental health screenings and assessments, immediate referrals and access to health counseling, legal services, HIV testing and linkage to care, hot meals and pantry services) to allow an additional 170 youth to access comprehensive services and opportunities unavailable elsewhere in the city on Saturdays.

6) Expand Psychiatrist Services: HMI recognizes New York City's glaring absence of mental health services available to this disconnected population. This initiative will allow HMI to have a psychiatrist on staff whose services will be available to all of our partnering agencies.

The inaugural event, the first in our series of youth summits, will be from 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21 at at St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, NYC. NY City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will make a keynote speech at 10 a.m.

Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI) thanks The Moody's Foundation for its generous support and understanding of the power of data in telling the stories that ground this report. Founded in 1979, HMI is the nation's oldest and largest nonprofit leader in LGBTQ youth service programming. Today, we serve more than 2,000 at-risk youth each year from more than 300 zip codes in New York and throughout the tri-state area, and an additional 8,000 young people through outreach efforts -- as well as countless lives changed by our advocacy, training and capacity building work around the world.

To learn more, support or to get involved with Hetrick-Martin Institute, call 212-674-2600 x260 or visit


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