Title

Trinity Place: A Transitional Living Program for Homeless LGBT Youth in New York City

Location

Harborside Center East and West

Strand #1

Mental & Physical Health

Strand #2

Family & Community

Relevance

This presentation describes a community based program (Family & Community) that promotes the Mental & Physical Health of homeless sexual minority youth and young adults.

Brief Program Description

Homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth and young adults are overrepresented among the homeless population and face significant risk factors. This presentation introduces Trinity Place, a 10-bed transitional living program (TLP) in New York City, one of the first in the country specifically designed to meet the needs of homeless LGBT youth, and describes residents’ progress and outcomes.

Summary

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth and young adults are over-represented among the homeless population (Ray, 2006), and are among the highest risk populations for HIV, substance abuse, psychiatric disorders, systemic discrimination, and housing instability (Cochran, Stewart, Ginzler, & Cauce, 2002; Gattis, 2013; Noell & Ochs, 2001; Van Leuween, et al., 2006; Whitbeck, Chen, Hoyt, Tyler, & Johnson, 2004). In response to discrimination in mainstream homeless programs (Mallon, 1998; Nolan, 2005) LGBT-specific homeless youth programs have been developed (Nolan, 2006) and have incorporated harm reduction and youth empowerment models. Yet such populations remain chronically under-served and the most-needed services—residential transitional programs remain extremely rare (Bolas, 2012). Trinity Place, located in Manhattan, is a 10-bed transitional living program (TLP) for homeless LGBT youth aged 18 – 24. The program was specifically designed to address the gap in residential services for this population. Trinity Place recognizes that sexual minority, low-income youth have unique and specific needs and that the transition to permanent housing is also combined with a transition to adulthood. These transitions are not necessarily a linear process, and oftentimes youth make multiple transitions, necessitating an individual-specific view regarding client success. The program promotes an identity-affirming environment that provides case management, mental health, health promotion, life skills, social support, and risk-behavior reduction programming. This presentation provides an overview of the tailored services provided at Trinity Place as well as evidence that demonstrates the progress and outcomes of the youth and young adults that reside in the program. Data presented include demographic information about residents, their employment gains and educational attainment, their physical and mental health, their reported sexual risk behaviors and HIV testing, and their reported substance use. Data regarding the transition from the program to other housing are also presented. These data demonstrate that overall the program is successful at providing a safe living environment where residents achieve self-determined goals, reduce risky behaviors, increase life skills, address health and mental health problems, and have positive transitions on their paths to independent housing.

Evidence

This efficacy of Trinity Place has been demonstrated through continuous program evaluation. Evaluation data demonstrate that, overall, residents reduce risky behaviors, such as substance use and sexual behaviors, and that they address health and mental health issues. The program has demonstrated effectiveness in achieving residents’ goals regarding educational attainment and job seeking.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Nicholas Forge, PhD LMSW is Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at Georgia State University. He has provided social work services at various programs for homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer identified youth in New York and has served on the board of directors at Trinity Place, a transitional living shelter for homeless LGBTQ youth.

Kevin Lotz, LCSW, CASAC, ACSW, is PhD Candidate at NYU Silver School of Social Work. He spent eight years managing intensive residential substance abuse treatment programs for prisoners in New York City and currently provides mental health services to no income or low income New Yorkers with chronic mental health and or/co-occurring substance abuse disorders. In 2006 co-founded and serves as director of Trinity Place, a transitional living shelter for homeless LGBTQ youth.

Keyword Descriptors

LGBTQ, homeless, youth, transitional living program

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-3-2015 4:00 PM

End Date

3-3-2015 5:30 PM

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Mar 3rd, 4:00 PM Mar 3rd, 5:30 PM

Trinity Place: A Transitional Living Program for Homeless LGBT Youth in New York City

Harborside Center East and West

Homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth and young adults are overrepresented among the homeless population and face significant risk factors. This presentation introduces Trinity Place, a 10-bed transitional living program (TLP) in New York City, one of the first in the country specifically designed to meet the needs of homeless LGBT youth, and describes residents’ progress and outcomes.