About Us

Sweet Evening Breeze was founded to address the over-representation of LGBTQ+ young adults experiencing homelessness in Louisville which mirrors national data and the lack of affirming services to address the additional risk they face while on the streets compared to their heterosexual and cisgender counterparts.

Our Inspiration

James Herdon was born in Scott County, KY in 1892. At a young age, They were abandoned in Lexington at the Good Samaritan Hospital where they grew up and eventually became head orderly.

Locally known as Sweet Evening Breeze or "Sweets", they were recognized for their gender non conforming style, often wearing makeup, scarves, jewelry and at times, dressing in full drag. As the movement for LGBTQ+ equality began in Lexington, Sweets was instrumental in helping to overturn Lexington’s cross-dressing ordinance.

Despite being a gender non-conforming Black person in the Jim Crow era, Sweet Evening Breeze was well liked in the community and was known for random acts of kindness such as baking cakes or giving shoes to poor families.

It was their hospitality and compassion for others, that helped inspire our purpose and vision to offer houseless LGBTQ+ young adults with affirming services.

Our Staff

Glenn Martin, M.Ed.

Executive Director

Glenn has nearly 30 years’ experience in Senior Organizational Management with a focused specialization in both nonprofit and youth population services. He has held student life leadership positions at Eastern Kentucky University and Case Western Reserve University. He was a Judicial Officer at Lehigh University and the Director of Student Services at Arcadia University. He served as COO at the prestigious International House in Philadelphia.

More recently, Martin acted as Program Director for the Louisville Job Corps, where he recruited 18 – 24-year-olds for the program. His impressive career is that of a visionary and driving force behind program development, community collaboration and partnerships, and board engagement.

Glenn gained a BA from EKU in Broadcasting; and his master’s degree in education - Adult Learning and Development, from Cleveland State University.

Stuart Gerard Walker

Program Manager

Stuart Walker is a trans man born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. He has worked for several non-profits in the Louisville area and has a passion for working with the LGBTQ+ community.

His goal is to create a comfortable environment for LGBTQ+ clients and to provide direct services and programs that are easily accessible to youth experiencing homelessness in the city.

Board Members

Ali Gautier

Current Board Chair

Ali Gautier is an activist, comedian, and performing artist originally from Danville, KY, currently living in Louisville. She is the Communications & Development Manager for Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, and director & producer of the documentary short, "After the Flood." She is a Black Queer artist working to preserve, amplify, and care for the stories of her diverse community.

James Stanley, MBA

Vice President

James is a Manager of Manufacturing Operations at GE Appliances, a Haier Company. As a dedicated mentor of the Queer community, James is a leader with over 20 years of experience and a proven track record of improving business operations. His background and education include a Master of Business Administration degree from Midway University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Eastern Kentucky University in Marketing and Public Relations. Over the past 20+ years, James has held various leadership positions in both the healthcare and manufacturing industries. James was raised in Pike County, Kentucky in a small coal mining community. As a child and teenager, he was always scared of becoming homeless if his sexual orientation were ever discovered. He got the courage to live his authentic, true life later in life after moving around the Midwest with his previous employer. James credits GE Appliances, a Haier Company, for giving the chance to live his true, authentic life and is very active in the Pride Employee Resources Group within the company. In his free time, James enjoys working out, spending time with his boyfriend, hiking, snow skiing, and spending as much time as possible with the love of his life - his beautiful daughter Isabella. James is dedicated to making a difference in the queer community by helping those who are finding refuge with Sweet Evening Breeze.

Felicia Williams Young

Board Secretary

Felicia serves as a regional outreach coordinator for a local nonprofit who provides resources and housing to the most vulnerable among us including single parents and foster alumni.

She brings with her years of experience in training, event coordination and community outreach. She rounds out her past professional experience with positions within the Office of Youth Development and local school district.

She is a wife, mother of three and a retired foster parent who spent twenty years providing a supportive environment for many young people in out of home care. She is also a proud alumna of the University of Louisville.

Jonathan Lowe

Board Treasurer

Jonathan Lowe is the Executive Administrator for Policy & Systems for Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) in Louisville Kentucky. He has previously held numerous other positions within JCPS, including Director of Strategy, Director of Student Assignment, and Government Relations Specialist.

Prior to his time with JCPS, he spent twelve years as a non-partisan bill drafter, legislative analyst, and budget analyst for the Kentucky General Assembly, focusing on education policy. He also worked as an advocate for affordable housing and people-based neighborhood development with the Metropolitan Housing Coalition.

Jonathan is a parent to two children, one who is pursuing a BFA in Acting in Chicago, and the other who is a JCPS high school student. He received a baccalaureate degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago and an M.S. in Public Policy from Rutgers University.

Vanessa Fisk BSN, RN, CCRC

With working in healthcare, and as a registered nurse of over 17 years, Vanessa has had an opportunity to work with a diverse community, including the LBGTQ+ community. Many years of her career have been spent working in Emergency Departments in addition to population health and other areas serving those in need. Even with the busy life of being a parent to two outstanding daughters and two rambunctious dogs, she does not let this slow down her community activism.

Dr. Maurice Gattis, MSSW, Ph.D.

Dr. Gattis is Associate Professor at the Kent School of Social Work at University of Louisville and has engaged in peer-reviewed published research regarding youth experiencing homelessness with an emphasis on LGBTQ+ youth for more than a decade in the United States and Canada. Dr. Gattis has a strong commitment to and deep understanding of the needs of the population and best practices related to providing affirming and effective services.

Erin Riedel, LCSW

Erin is a licensed clinical social worker with over 10 years of experience who specializes in working with LGBTQ+ young adults. Prior to opening her private practice, Vivaria Counseling, she worked for a number of Louisville organizations that serve adults living with severe mental illness and substance use disorders. She believes that housing is a human right and has seen first-hand how safe, stable housing can radically change people’s lives. She is a lifelong Kentuckian and a three-time graduate of the University of Louisville.

Ghazel Tellawi

Ghazel is a queer, Syrian immigrant woman from a Muslim background, living in Louisville, KY.  She is currently working as a licensed psychologist in MN and WI. Her passions are in working with LGBTQ+ individuals and POC aged 12 and older. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her wife and 2 cats, as well as playing and watching soccer.