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The Hetrick-Martin Institute is the oldest and largest organization dedicated to serving at-risk LGBTQ youth between the ages of 13 and 21 in a safe and supportive environment
HMI has developed a distinctive cadre of best practices informed by our 35 years as a trauma center serving young people in crisis. Our experience has shown that effective interventions for LGBTQ youth must be grounded in the reality of their day-to-day lives. Since HMI is viewed by this population as providing for their basic needs, we are successful in engaging young people in more comprehensive, long-term interventions. In doing so, HMI has multiple opportunities to strengthen their health, emotional resiliencies and academic development, offering safety to work through issues of abuse and neglect, and providing assistance with concrete life issues (i.e. physical/mental health needs, hunger, homelessness, poverty, social welfare assistance, etc.).
Throughout our programming, HMI utilizes Positive Youth Development, Harm Reduction, Trauma-Informed Care and other adolescent development models of engagement. Before HMI, this approach had never been used to serve LGBTQ youth. Today, it is considered the best practice in LGBTQ youth-service delivery and is replicated by organizations around the world.
All our services are provided with extraordinary cultural competencies by staff sensitive to the special challenges faced by this often disconnected population. About 85% of HMI staff identify themselves as LGBTQ and are highly experienced in direct service youth work; more than half are people of color. They establish long-standing relationships with our youth, who utilize our services for four years on average. This consistent interaction creates an environment where youth can grow, advance their education and establish trusting connections with adults.
- Dinean Robinson
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