FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hetrick-Martin Institute Hosts Socially Distanced Pride Grab-and-Go and Mini Pride Float Parade
NEW YORK, June 1, 2021 – Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI) is proud to bring its first ever Pride Grab-and-Go and Mini Pride Float Parade to their drop in space at 2 Astor Place, New York, NY. This event will provide much needed resources and a little bit of PRIDE celebration for youth members who have been receiving virtual services since the start of the pandemic. While HMI youth wait in line for their turn inside, the non-profit’s corporate partners will be handing out additional resources and fun Pride swag from carts designed as mini Pride Floats to help celebrate and honor the young people at HMI.
This masked and socially distanced afternoon at HMI gives their young people the opportunity to safely re-connect in person with their chosen family – the staff at HMI and fellow members.
The last 14 months have hit LGBTQIA+ youth in a very significant way. HMI pivoted immediately to provide services virtually and offering weekly cash assistance programs to its youth members in lieu of being able to permit access to their clothing pantry and nightly dinner service. During the pandemic, the need for free and long-term counseling at HMI has more than doubled. In a recent survey, HMI found that nearly 40% of their youth experienced a significant hardship over the last year such as losing a job, a parent losing a job, death of a family member, dropping out of school, etc.
More details about the event:
- Youth will come to HMI on June 25th between 3:30 and 7:30PM where they will be admitted five at a time into the drop-in space.
- While they wait outside, corporate partners will be handing out Pride goodies from carts designed as Mini Pride Floats to celebrate the season. To date, the organizations participating are: Nordstrom NYC, K-Deer, Related, FUKU, Make Up Forever, as well as a few departments within HMI.
- Youth members will be getting meals, their annual HMI Pride T-Shirts (designed by an HMI youth member ), and many other goodies provided by HMI’s partners at Coach, Yahoo!, Bloomberg, Make Up Forever, L’Oreal, Heritage of Pride, Nordstrom NYC and Rag & Bone.
HMI Chief Executive Officer, Joe Pressley (he/him/his) commented, “HMI has been celebrating Pride and marching with our young people for over 40 years. We are so glad to be able to honor the resiliency of our youth and re-connect safely as we take steps towards re-opening.”
Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI) is proud to be the nation’s oldest and largest organization helping gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth between the ages of 13 and 24 to reach their full potential. Through a comprehensive package of direct services and referrals, the organization fosters healthy youth development. HMI’s staff promotes excellence in the delivery of youth services and uses its expertise to create innovative programs that other organizations may use as models.
HMI serves a diverse community, the vast majority of whom identify as Black or people of color. The youth organization is dedicated to building its approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at all levels, throughout its operations and functions.