Newark LGBTQ youth service agency will close due to lack of financial support

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Young child with a rainbow painted on both hands
LGBTQ Youth image by Sharon McCutcheon

Hetrick-Martin Institute: NJ has been serving community youth for more than 10 years

Newark based Hetrick-Martin Institute: New Jersey (HMI NJ) has served the LGBTQ youth community for over 10 years. But due to funding issues the Board has decided to close. HMI NJ as a service agency went beyond the city to a much larger footprint in the state at large. They provided needed resources for at-risk youth including counseling, case management, and group programming.

“Our mission has been to help spread the message of inclusivity across New Jersey with the generous support of our foundation, corporate, individual, governmental and non-profit partners,” they stated in an email sent to advocates and funders yesterday.

“We acknowledge that the past year has been challenging for all of us, and the non-profit sector in particular has been significantly impacted,” the email continued. “Although our dedicated staff has remained agile throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and successfully pivoted our services to continue to support the community in this changing environment, we are faced with a stark reality that has obstructed our ability to raise the necessary financial support to maintain HMI NJ operations.

The organization said that as of June 30, 2021, HMI NJ will be closing its doors. “This decision did not come easily,” the email said. “But ultimately there was a financial burden that the organization could not overcome.

The Board said they are looking at ways to work with other local organizations to transition the services they were providing to the LGBTQ at-risk youth in the area they serve.

“We are working closely with community partners, organizations, and our youth to ensure a seamless transition of care and resources. Our sister agency, HMI—based in New York City has been serving LGBTQ+ youth for more than 40 years. HMI provides programs and wrap-around services to youth in NYC, and can also assist with referrals and crisis intervention for NJ youth, and with professional development training to improve LGBTQ competency and inclusion.”

“We extend our heartfelt appreciation for your valuable partnership throughout the years. Thank you for your unwavering support of our mission to provide the LGBTQ+ youth community with a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential,” concluded the email.

For those interested in continuing the mission the Board asked supporters to visit hmi.org in New York City for ways to participate. Through the end of the month you may reach out with any questions or to get additional information at: info@hminj.org.

Peter Frycki is the publisher of Out In Jersey magazine and an occasional writer. His previous occupations were with the Mercer County Board of Social Services in Trenton as a caseworker and supervisor. In his spare time he watches Netflix series, MSNBC and every historical drama he can find.