OUR MISSION

Sweet Evening Breeze is committed to Louisville’s LGBTQ+ affirming youth, 18 to 24 years of age, experiencing homelessness by going beyond the expectations of shelter, hope, and healing.

ABOUT US

Sweet Evening Breeze was founded to address the overrepresentation of LGBTQ+ youth 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. It was James Herndon “Sweets,” a Kentucky historical figure whose hospitality and compassion for others inspired our purpose and vision to offer LGBTQ+ affirming emergency shelter, food and supportive services for young adults who may experience homelessness and find themselves in need of inclusive resources. We strive to provide Louisville’s young adults experiencing homelessness with an open and affirming environment and are committed to empowering and connecting our residents to vital resources while facilitating their community engagement through the promotion of socially just services, education, and care. Planned services include a day program, shelter, case management, referrals, and mental health services for young adults. Additionally, we will engage in research to develop and promote promising practices to help inform interventions for the population.

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.

BOARD MEMBERS

Ariel Brooks, MSSW, LCSW (Current Board Chair)

Ariel is currently a psychotherapist at Mandala House, where she specializes in therapy services for racial and sexual minorities and has been working for the betterment of homeless and vulnerable teens and young adults for her entire career. Ariel participates in community work in Louisville's Black, LGBTQ+, and reproductive justice spheres, and has been with Sweet Evening Breeze since its founding. Ariel has a deep understanding of the lives and needs of the population we serve.

Kenneth Cordle, MEd, SRES®

A local realtor, with a Bachelor of Arts from Anderson University, Anderson, Indiana; and a Master’s of Education from the University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky; is a community activist, musician, and dog dad. Following a 20+ year career in corporate human resources, Ken decided to take a break and get his real estate license. With a passion for the community and the belief that stable housing is a human right, Ken has become an activist focusing his attention on the LGBTQ+ Community, HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, tolerance and inclusion for all persons who might be different than oneself. Ken’s community involvements include Volunteers of America, Highland Community Ministries, Habitat for Humanity, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Derby City Sisters, Derby City Bears, and Old Louisville Neighborhood Association.

Ben Curtis

Ben has spent several years successfully working with national organizations comprised of over 250,000 LGBTQ+ young adults, providing them with resources to receive inexpensive or free healthcare. He works with these organizations to drive revenue and memberships which help raise awareness to their cause and to combat legislation aimed at discriminating against the populations they represent. Ben is a proud father of two daughters, Sloane and Collins, loving spouse to his wife, Tiffany, and dog dad to Woodford and Cooper.

Eltuan Dawson

Eltuan Dawson is a 26 year old student attending Jefferson Community & Technical College. Currently, consulting as a development coach and trainer, Eltuan offers meaningful wisdom and support to youth in transition to help them reach sustainable goals. He has been an advocate for foster care and LGBTQ+ affirming youth across Kentucky for nearly a decade. Eltuan advocates on behalf of all youth across the spectrum, challenging practitioners to learn, understand, and use best practices to engage with youth and young adults in a more empowering and inclusive form that helps to inspire positive growth and change for these individuals and their communities.

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.

Jonathan Lowe

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.

Tamara Russell, MSSW

Tamara is currently working as an Academic Counselor for the University Honors Program and an Academic Coordinator for the MLK Scholars Program at the University of Louisville. She has a deep passion for creating a more inclusive, accessible and equitable public education system; youth advocacy, restorative justice and racial justice efforts.

Dr. Emma Sterrett-Hong, LMFT, Licensed Psychologist

Dr. Sterrett-Hong is a Couple and Family Therapy Program Director at the Kent School of Social Work and head of a research lab on the potential of relationships with adults and mentors in natural contexts (families, schools, communities) to reduce health disparities affecting ethnic minority, sexual minority, and low-income youth. Dr. Sterrett-Hong has an understanding of the potential population needs.

Nikki Thornton, BA

Director of Program Operations for True Up. True Up empowers young people in foster care and alumni to gain the critical life skills they need to make a successful transition from a structured environment to self-sufficiency in our communities. Nikki has an understanding of community needs, relationships, and experience working with the potential population.

Felicia Williams Young

Felicia is Senior Manager of Education, Training and Program Development at Metro United Way where she creates professional development opportunities for youth workers. Metro United Way seeks to work with non-profits, government agencies and the community at-large, supporting them all with data, matching volunteers with volunteer opportunities, and mobilizing resources when and where they're needed. She brings with her years of training development and facilitation skills. She previously held positions at Louisville Metro Government at the Office of Youth Development and spent three years as a substitute teacher within Jefferson County Public Schools. She is also a retired foster parent who spent twenty years providing a supportive environment for our most vulnerable population.