Trinity Haven is Indiana’s first residential facility and host-home program to focus on the needs of Indiana’s LGBTQ+ young people between the ages of 18-24 who are experiencing housing instability or homelessness due to familial or societal rejection. The residential facility has served as the centerpiece of the Transitional Living Program (TLP) that provides 2-year lodging while the Host-Homes Program (HHP) has served as an alternative program that provides a 6-month stay in the home of people living in the Mapleton-Fall Creek area. The TLP opened on April 30, 2021, and HHP launched in June 2021.  

A dining room with a rectangular table in the center. A banner that says "haven" covers the table.
The dining area at Trinity Haven, 2019 Credit: Jenna Watson, IndyStar View Source

The idea for the establishment of Trinity Haven originated in 2016 after Rev. Julia Whitmore, the new rector at Trinity Episcopal Church (see Episcopalians) convened a discernment committee to determine the best use of a property the parish owned. Through this process, the committee members learned about the invisible crisis of LGBTQ+ homelessness in Indianapolis. The committee brought the idea of using the property as a safe house for the LGBTQ homeless community to the parish in 2017.  

Though the property was not used to address the homelessness issue, the parish gave a loan of $500,000 and a gift of $50,000 to the committee to purchase a nearby home. Over the next few years, parishioners added $200,000 in contributions. Donations to purchase the home and launch the requisite programming also came from Impact 100 of Greater Indianapolis, United Thank Offering, Christian Theological Seminary, and the Lilly Endowment, Inc.

The TPL provided long-term housing (up to 24 months) for up to 10 young people at a time. It also provided intervention before young people experienced chronic homelessness and encouraged them to complete high school and pursue higher education, gain employment, focus on their health and wellness, and secure stable, affordable housing.  

A woman stands in a house.
Jenni White of Trinity Haven, 2019 Credit: Jenna Watson, IndyStar View Source

The HHP provided short-term housing (approx. 6 months) for young people who chose to live with host families who were vetted and trained by Trinity Haven. This program was based on a national model that Point Source Youth developed. The Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program 9YHDP/HUD) provided major funding to facilitate its launch in Indianapolis and Marion County and to offset the costs a host family incurs when hosting young people. Its first executive director, Jenni White, was hired in April 2019. The global pandemic of 2020 stalled its opening, but they persevered and opened both programs in April 2021. 

The name Trinty Haven not only represents the connection to Trinity Episcopal Church, but also three things in unison–the female, male, and transgender components of humanity for whom Trinity Haven provides a safe space. Though Trinity Haven is closely connected to Trinity Episcopal Church, the transitional housing program is secular.  

Revised June 2024

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