To create a safe and supportive environment in which lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, ages 12 to 24, can reach their full potential.

The Hetrick-Martin Institute, Inc., Home of the Harvey Milk High School, is the oldest and largest multi-service organization that provides programs and services to New York City’s at-risk lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Founded in response to the brutalization of a gay youth at a city-run group home, Hetrick-Martin has grown from a small, volunteer-led grass roots advocacy organization into a leading professional provider of social support and academic programming for LGBTQ and other at-risk youth. The goal of all of Hetrick-Martin’s programs is to engage low-income New York City LGBTQ youth ages 12-24 in after school and supportive services, providing them critical programs that promote mental well-being, emotional resilience, and set these disenfranchised youth members on a constructive path towards a healthy and stable adult life. We are also the founder and host of the Harvey Milk High School, NYC's premier transfer public high school catering to youth suffering from severe emotional and physical duress.

In 1979, a 15 year-old boy living in a New York City group home was beaten and sexually assaulted by fellow residents. The group home staff members responded to the incident by blaming the victim— he was discharged and told that he would not have been attacked had he not been gay. When local community activists Emery S. Hetrick, a psychiatrist, and A. Damien Martin, a New York University professor, read about this tragedy, they realized a critical gap in this group of young people who desperately needed support and the services that should have been available to them. Hetrick and Martin marshaled support from concerned community members and youth service professionals, founding the Institute for Protection of Lesbian and Gay Youth (IPLGY), renamed The Hetrick-Martin Institute in their honor after their deaths.

Over the past 30+ years, The Hetrick-Martin Institute has grown from serving a handful of individuals to providing comprehensive academic, career and job enrichment, and supportive services to over 1,500 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth annually. Though our program catalogue has grown from referrals and advocacy to direct mental health and after school services, our core ideals have never changed. Hetrick-Martin still stands as the nation’s leader in LGBTQ youth services, able to offer physical, social, and emotional nourishment to the hundreds of at-risk young people who pass through our doors each month.

Visit for more information.

1. Serving over 1,500 at-risk lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.

2. Provides a free year-round comprehensive package of innovative and creative after-school programs, supportive services, and referrals.

3. Counseling, homeless youth pantry services, academic enrichment and college preparation, GED, job readiness, HIV/STD & pregnancy testing available.

4. Hosts the Harvey Milk High School, the first New York City public transfer high school focusing on LGBTQ and other at-risk youth.

5. Provides best practices in positive youth development that others may use as models. Visit for more information or to donate.

1 comment

to comment