The Hetrick-Martin Institute is a New York City based non-profit organization devoted to serving the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) youth. The institute was founded in 1979 as the "Institute for the Protection of Lesbian and Gay Youth" (IPLGY) by Dr. Emery Hetrick, a psychiatrist, and Dr. Damien Martin, a professor at New York University. They founded the institute with the intention of providing advocacy and social services to underserved LGBTQ youth. After the deaths of the two founders, the Institute was renamed the "Hetrick-Martin Institute" in honor of them.

Since that beginning in 1979, Hetrick-Martin has grown from a small, volunteer-led grass-roots advocacy organization into a leading professional provider of social support and programming for at-risk youth, particularly lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (“LGBTQ”) youth. Hetrick-Martin youth members, ranging in age from 13 to 21, come from 167 zip codes throughout New York City and the surrounding metropolitan area. They are of all colors and sizes, come from all kinds of backgrounds, and have more enthusiasm and creativity than can be imagined.

Hetrick-Martin shares space and collaborates with the NYC Department of Education to host the Harvey Milk High School, founded in 1985. In this small public high school Hetrick-Martin provides assistance to the roughly 100 Harvey Milk students by offering supportive services and case management in addition to a broad range of after-school programs. The school is the first and largest of its kind in the world— a public school devoted to fulfilling the specific needs of at-risk youth.

The After-School Services Department reaches a considerably greater number of youth than just those attending Harvey Milk by providing an alternative safe space every weekday from 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm for programming that combines engaging activities, job-readiness training, and education, including HIV prevention. Every year, more than a thousand young people pass through our doors for hot meals (more than 5000 hot dinners served last year), skills building workshops, internship programs, and performances—all designed to improve their chances for a healthier, richer future. The Supportive Services Department is the critical third component of comprehensive Hetrick-Martin youth services. It provides outreach efforts to ensure that as many young people as possible know about Hetrick-Martin. It also provides group, family and individual counseling for the highest at-risk youth—the 26% of LGBTQ youth who have been forced from their homes due to conflicts over their sexual orientation. The Supportive Services Department provides social and family support, as well as legal and medical service referrals, to help youth come to terms with their sexuality and find the emotional stability and resilience to maximize their potential.

Twenty-nine years after its founding, Hetrick-Martin remains devoted to finding a way for all youth to fulfill their greatest potential. Through supporting and nurturing LGBTQ youth, as well as training educators, child welfare professionals, law enforcement, government officials and medical providers, The Hetrick-Martin Institute is committed to making the world a safer, more encouraging place for all youth and providing these young people with an opportunity of a lifetime.

The Harvey Milk High School is now run by the New York City Department of Education.

In 2007, Hetrick-Martin was among over 530 New York City arts and social service institutions to receive part of a $20 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation, which was made possible through a donation by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.[1]


  • Maya Keyes - On December 7, 2005, received the Emery Award, presented by the Hetrick-Martin Institute for outstanding work on behalf of homeless LGBT youth.


  1. New York Times: City Groups Get Bloomberg Gift of $20 Million. Retrieved on August 28, 2007

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