Trinity Place Shelter - Press Profile
2011 Union Square Award Recipient164 West 100th Street
New York, NY 10025
Media Contacts: Kevin Lotz, Co-Founder and Director
Trinity Place Shelter is one of the few transitional homeless shelters in New York City designed to assist homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer (LGBTQ) youth in a family-like environment. This non-sectarian, 10-bed shelter, open 365 days a year, has provided a home to approximately 250 young adults, 18 to 24 years old, since opening its doors. As many as 10,000 LGBTQ youth are currently homeless in the City, and only 250 beds or fewer are specifically available for this population.
Trinity Place Shelter dates back to 2005 when the Metropolitan Community Church of New York made a plea to all houses of worship to open their spaces to LGBTQ youth for one week during the peak of winter, and Rev. Heidi Neumark welcomed ten young people into her church. The experience compelled the congregation to consider a more sustained and significant response to the growing LGBTQ youth homeless crisis. “We lamented the fact that churches and religious bodies contribute to the abuse that LGBTQ youth experienced,” said Kevin Lotz, the shelter’s director. Within six months, the congregation voted unanimously to create a permanent shelter in the church’s basement, received initial funding, and officially opened in 2006.
Today, Trinity Place Shelter provides basic social and health services as well as life and educational skills to make independent living a reality. Recognizing that 30 days is insufficient time to find a job and housing, residents are provided the opportunity to live at the shelter up to a year and a half as long as they progress toward mutually-set goals.
Trinity Place Shelter also involves the community in its activities and engages a cross section of volunteers in homelessness and LGBTQ issues.