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 serves on the finance committee for the Allies for Health + Wellbeing. They have also served on the boards of Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Traveler’s Aid of Pittsburgh, and the ToonSeum. Debbie is particularly interested in working with and supporting organizations that serve marginalized and at-risk populations.
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
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 Tolliver 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.
A Place To Be Home
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 experiencing homelessness in Pittsburgh. We will also provide emotional support and resources to help LGBTQIA+ youth develop the skills needed to live independently.
Youth Advisory Council
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