New York City shelter partners with Pink Sparrow to raise $86,000 for LGBTQ youth

Miss New York 2022 Taryn Delanie Smith

Trinity Place Shelter, a non-sectarian shelter on New York City’s Upper West Side for LGBTQ youth (aged 18-25), held its second annual Trinity Place Gala at Hudson Yards on Thursday, October 6. Hosted by Miss New York 2022 Taryn Delanie Smith, herself a Trinity Place supporter, the gala honored LGBTQ activist Dr. Wilhelmina Perry, who had a pivotal role in founding Trinity Place in 2006, and David Flugman, a renowned attorney focused on the advancement of LGBTQ rights. (He was instrumental in preserving a ban on gay conversion therapy.)

The gala, which raised $86,000 to support Trinity Place and its new, 12-week career development program, was made possible in part by a collaboration with premier fabrication company Pink Sparrow, which was grateful for the opportunity to lend their design and build expertise pro bono for such a meaningful event.

A space that celebrates LGBTQ culture and history

When creating the main space of the Trinity Place Gala – within Hudson Yards’ Wells Fargo 63rd-floor Empire Room – Pink Sparrow was inspired by the rich ballroom culture of the 1980s, while embracing the many dynamic definitions of queerness. A check-in desk and photo moment were decked out in ostrich feathers and rhinestones evocative of the ballroom era, while the step-and-repeat and other features avoided “rainbow-washing” by employing swirls of color that celebrated uniqueness along with a broad queer spectrum.

“This project was all about creating space for dynamic queer identities, while still celebrating LGBTQ culture and history,” said Anthony Santiago, Managing Director, Pink Sparrow. “Ballroom has always been a place to express individuality while coming together as a community, just like Trinity Place Shelter, and we were excited to support by crafting features that hopefully inspired each individual to be many different ‘colors’ at once.”

Expanded resources for LGBTQ youth

“With the funds from this year’s gala, we will continue to support community programming for homeless youth and look forward to introducing a 12-week career development program that is uniquely geared to LGBTQ individuals who have experienced homelessness,” said Wendy Kaplan, Director, Trinity Place Shelter. “We’re so grateful to everyone who has supported Trinity Place Shelter this year and thrilled that we could partner with Pink Sparrow to bring this event to life.”

Trinity Place has a focus on long-term success for its residents, many of whom were rejected by their families or countries of origin. Residents stay up to 18 months and focus on counseling, school, and career development during their time in the shelter. Trinity Place has an over 80% success rate in graduating its residents out of homelessness, 90% of whom are young people of color.

All photos courtesy of Trinity Place Shelter

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