In the late fall of 2005, a call went out for churches and other religious bodies to open their doors to small groups of homeless LGBTQ youth and young adults for one week in the winter.
Trinity Lutheran Church of Manhattan responded and opened its doors that winter for three weeks.
Trinity began to consider a more sustained and significant response to the growing crisis of homeless LGBTQ youth and young adults in New York City.
We then worked with a network of interested others and the Interfaith Task Force for Homeless LGBTQ Youth to open a year-round transitional 10-bed shelter, Trinity Place Shelter, in June of 2006. In May of 2007, Trinity assumed sole responsibility for the shelter.
Why is a Church Doing This?
Trinity Lutheran Church of Manhattan has long sought to be a community of welcome and full inclusion for all people regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, class, age, immigration status or sexual orientation. Trinity is also proud of its history of advocacy for LGBTQ rights within the church and the wider community.
Trinity Lutheran Church of Manhattan laments that mainstream religious bodies have been slow and reluctant to recognize and treat persons who identify as LGBTQ with full acceptance and respect. We are aware that LGBTQ persons are often treated with outright condemnation by those who cite religious reasons for their actions. Knowing that churches have contributed to this pain and oppression, we hope to contribute to liberation and healing through Trinity Place Shelter.
Church members generously volunteer time and donate money and other resources to support the shelter; Trinity Place Shelter, however, is not a religious organization. It is non-sectarian and there is no proselytizing of any kind.