A Place To Be Home
Debbie is a co-founder of Proud Haven. They hold an M.S. in Nonprofit Management from Robert Morris University and a B.S. in Accounting from Manhattan College. Debbie has over 30 years of experience in accounting, with the past 20 years spent working with both for-profit and nonprofit organizations in their adopted hometown of Pittsburgh. They are the director of finance at MANY and also served on the finance committee for the Allies for Health + Wellbeing. In addtion, they have served on the boards of Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Traveler’s Aid of Pittsburgh, and the ToonSeum.
Deeply troubling national statistics have found that 40% of youth experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQIA+. Available data suggests that conditions are similar in the Pittsburgh region.
Many traditional service providers cannot or will not provide physical and emotional safety, support and resources for their sexual and gender identities, and the encouragement they need to reach their full potential as independent, confident adults.
Identity-based family rejection is the most common reason these youth become homeless. Even if their family is supportive, youth may face harassment and violence at school or in their neighborhood that's so severe that they would rather leave home than spend another day in fear. Once they leave home, youth are subject to all the indignities of being unstably housed, including devastating health and psychological consequences, hunger, and the disruption of their education.
Proud Haven's mission is to provide a safe shelter for LGBTQIA+ youth (ages 18-25) experiencing homelessness in Pittsburgh. We will also provide emotional support and resources to help LGBTQIA+ youth develop the skills needed to live independently.
Diana has been working in customer service for over 10 years and she works well with people from all walks of life. She has also participated in service activities for over 15 years as a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. She is a dedicated ally to the LBGTQIA+ community and works towards the fair and equal treatment and empowerment of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Tyler is a clinician and senior professional staff nurse at UPMC Shadyside. He was previously a Board Member for the now dissolved Pennsylvania State Nurses Associated District 6 (now dissolved and one state chapter), as well as on their state board of Professional Development. Relevant experiences include conference and event planning, donations, board activities, and educational events. Completed doctoral nursing studies on LGBTQ cultural competence and nursing.
As a response to a national and local crisis Proud Haven Inc. was first conceived in 2012, incorporated in Pennsylvania in April 2013 and received IRS approval as a 501(c)(3) in September 2014. A full board began work in November 2015. We opened our office at 5132 Butler St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201 in March, 2017. We are currently located at 517 E. Ohio St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.
Proud Haven will be the first overnight shelter of its kind in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area. We are in the process of raising funds and locating resources to open and sustain our shelter in Pittsburgh.
Our current offerings for clients can be found here.
Finance Committee Chair
Volunteer Committee Chair
Kellie has recently graduated from the Northwestern University School of Law. She has served as a tipstaff in the family division and project coordinator for Building United of Southwestern PA. Kelly has also served as treasurer, social events for the Black Law Students Association, chair and founder of Multicultural Law Students Assocation, PTO vice president, and secretary and vice president of the Urban League Young Professionals.
Brogan is the Marketing + Communications Manage for Allies for Health + Wellbeing (formerly the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force). Brogan also serves on the Board of Directors for REELQ (Pittsburgh Underground Queer Film/Media Arts Org.), volunteered for the Delta Foundation, PERSAD, PGH Equality Center and many other LGBTQIA focused projects in the city of Pittsburgh. They are a contributing editor to QueerPGH (Pittsburgh Digital Queer Magazine) and participate in fundraising efforts that benefit organizations across the sectors working to improve representation for people within the LGBTQIA community.
Youth Advisory Council
Lyndsey is currently youth programs manager at the Persad Center. In addition, they are an executive steering committee member of TransPride Pittsburgh and an executive steering committee member of the Hot Metal Hardware Gender Performance Troupe. Previously they were a board chair of the Gay and Lesbian Community Center (GLCC), now the Pittsburgh Equality Center. Prior to working at Persad, Lyndsey was the project coordinator of the Youth Empowerment Project at the University of Pittsburgh.
Will is the Manager of Early Childhood Learning at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. He began his role in February of 2018. Will's primary responsibilities include integrating Early Childhood Research and practice within Museum departments to build a national model, creating Early Childhood experiences and curriculum that reflect the Museum's expertise, and scheduling, managing, and assessing the Early Childhood staff members to create a high-functioning, child centered team that understands current research in Early Childhood and its application to Museum practice. Will also sits on the board for The Day One Project, is a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for SETPoint, is an Alumni Fellow with the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), and was selected as Who’s Next: Education by The Incline. Will’s passion for education, social justice, and our future learners is what fuels him to push for a more socially and culturally responsive Pittsburgh,
We will be a leading resource for shelter and support services that improve the quality of life for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual and beyond (LGBTQIA+) youth who are experiencing homelessness as well as an advocate for the LGBTQIA+ population as a whole.
LGBTQIA+ youth need and deserve their own shelter.
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