How long has Trinity Haven been serving the Indy community?
Trinity Haven began serving the Greater Indianapolis community last year.
Describe the impact your organization has had on the Indy region.
Trinity Haven is Indiana’s very first residential facility and Host Homes Program to focus on the needs of LGBTQ+ youth and young adults who are experiencing housing instability. Trinity Haven has two housing options for LGBTQ+ youth and young adults:
Transitional Living Program (TLP)
We provide programs and services that include a long-term Transitional Living Program (TLP) which offers up to 24 months of shared housing, stabilization assistance, support services, independent living skills, case management, and care coordination for ages 16-21 (for those residing in the state of Indiana).
Host Homes Program (HHP)
Our short-term Host Homes Program (HHP) offers an average of 6 months of housing and intensive case management for ages 16-24 (limited to Indianapolis/Marion County).
Youth Engagement Specialist
Our Youth Engagement Specialist assists with permanent housing placement for those exiting our TLP and HHP. At Trinity Haven, residents find a safe harbor and professional staff that are warm, welcoming, and affirming. Our hope is that no LGBTQ+ youth in Indianapolis has to spend the night on a park bench or under a bridge ever again.
Talk about the impact that $14,000 could have on your organization and for the communities you serve.
This pilot project will do for Trinity Haven graduates what higher-income parents routinely do for their own children. With the Resilience Fund, Trinity Haven graduates will have access to cash that can be used for whatever will most quickly stabilize the youth’s situation—from bus passes to work uniforms to dental work. The Resilience Fund is a short-term, economically efficient intervention that can stave off a downward spiral and a full-blown crisis.
The Resilience Fund will be individualized, trauma-informed, low-barrier, and driven by the needs of the graduate. It will be responsive, with funds distributed within 24-48 hours of the request. The Resilience Fund will be administered by staff members who know the graduate, so that together the graduate and advocate can determine the kind of support that is needed for ongoing stability. In addition, the staff can help identify public funds that can be combined with the flex funding to create more latitude to address the need; they can also identify situations in which the flex funding can be used to leverage private funding from faith-based organizations and other private groups. Flex funding will always be combined with ongoing, personalized advocacy by a Trinity Haven case manager. The Resilience Fund will catapult Trinity Haven to a new level of service to LGBTQ youth experiencing housing instability, and it will help these youth break the cycle of homelessness and poverty.
There is strong evidence for the effectiveness of flex funds to prevent homelessness. The best-known is a 2015 study conducted by the Research-Based Consortium for Gender-Based Violence. In it, a stunning 94% of participants remained housed 6 months after receiving flex funding. In addition, the study reports that participants were “inspired to pay it forward” and expressed “wanting to give back in various ways.”
The study above, along with most research on flex funding, has been conducted on victims of intimate partner violence. If Indyfluence chooses to fund our request for this pilot program, we can collect data specific to a new population: LGBTQ youth. We can then add that data to the existing base of evidence on flex funds. Our staff is experienced in collecting data and will design a collection protocol for our program.
There are similarities between survivors of intimate partner violence and LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness, and we believe that LGBTQ youth will show similar benefits from flex funding. If our data bears out this hypothesis, we will continue the Resilience Fund past the pilot period—and we can use that data to attract additional funding. We’ll also share our data with LGBTQ youth and homelessness organizations around the city and country, which will make it easier for them to initiate their own flex funds.
We will draw on additional research to administer the Resilience Fund. Surveys of flex funds have established best practices, and we have conducted our own online survey of LGBTQ youth about what they want from flex funding programs. We plan to follow the results of these surveys by implementing nonjudgmental and fast fund delivery; procedures to ensure that grants don’t duplicate other available services and do not negatively affect a graduate’s qualification for public assistance; the opportunity for participants to donate back into the fund after the emergency has passed; and more.
By funding our pilot program, you will help us collect evidence that could eventually allow this cost-effective, targeted intervention to be scaled up and replicated in LGBTQ youth homelessness programs throughout Indianapolis and the country. We believe that the Resilience Fund will dramatically reduce the chances that an unforeseen expense will send an LGBTQ young person back into homelessness or poverty.
The Trinity Haven Resilience Fund recognizes that people aren’t living in poverty because of their own fault. It acknowledges that there are structures that send LGBTQ young people into poverty and keep them there, and one of those structures is unequal access to cash assistance from parents. As a solution to homelessness and poverty, the Trinity Haven Resilience Fund is empowering, equitable, and effective.
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