case for support
Case for Support
our mission

Our mission is to provide shelter, services and unconditional love and support to all LGBTQ+ adolescents and young adults.

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why?

LGBTQ+ youth experience a 120% higher risk of homelessness than their peers. Once on the street, they face additional hardships because of stigma and discrimination. In the United States, while LGBTQ+ youth make up only 10% of the total youth population, a report from William’s Institute estimates LGBTQ+ youth comprise an astounding 40% of all young people experiencing homelessness in the country. Southwest Florida is no exception. In Collier County alone, it is estimated that there are over 20 homeless LGBTQ+ teens each year. Once homeless, young LGBTQ+ people are at higher risk of facing violence, discrimination, sexual exploitation, and substance abuse than their homeless heterosexual peers.

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what’s the issue

What can we do?

unconditional love

Everyone deserves a safe and loving home.

“SAGE House was born out of my love for my children who happen to be LGBTQ+ and a complete disbelief that any parent could reject their child for being their true self. I was shocked to learn that in one academic year, two of my daughter’s friends were kicked out for coming out to their parents. My position was: ‘If your parents won’t accept you for who you are, I’m your mom now’. In each instance, I have said, ‘they can come live with us!’ because every child deserves unconditional love. I was devastated to learn that these are not isolated incidences and that this is a common occurrence in Collier County. My goal is to provide a residence (including meals, clothing, and anything else they need!), mental health and support services (individual, family, and group counseling for those at the residence as well as anyone else seeking services), holistic programs (animal, art, and music therapy), social programs, leadership, and community roles and eventually, an education fund. Our organization will provide a residence for potentially homeless youth, but also a safe place for individual, family, and group counseling. We plan to have events and community-wide education as well.”

-Marianne Lambertson, Founder

unconditional love

Everyone deserves a safe and loving home.

“SAGE House was born out of my love for my children who happen to be LGBTQ+ and a complete disbelief that any parent could reject their child for being their true self. I was shocked to learn that in one academic year, two of my daughter’s friends were kicked out for coming out to their parents. My position was: ‘If your parents won’t accept you for who you are, I’m your mom now’. In each instance, I have said, ‘they can come live with us!’ because every child deserves unconditional love. I was devastated to learn that these are not isolated incidences and that this is a common occurrence in Collier County. My goal is to provide a residence (including meals, clothing, and anything else they need!), mental health and support services (individual, family, and group counseling for those at the residence as well as anyone else seeking services), holistic programs (animal, art, and music therapy), social programs, leadership, and community roles and eventually, an education fund. Our organization will provide a residence for potentially homeless youth, but also a safe place for individual, family, and group counseling. We plan to have events and community-wide education as well.”

-Marianne Lambertson, Founder

meet the team

Board of Directors

Marianne Lambertson
Marianne LambertsonBoard Chair
SAGE House Founder
Todd Lyon, MS
Todd Lyon, MSBoard Vice Chair
Administrative Director of Human Resources, NCH Healthcare System
Helena Dabrowski
Helena DabrowskiBoard Treasurer
Vice President of Finance, Sunshine Ace Hardware
Amy Schenk, RN, BSN, MSEd
Amy Schenk, RN, BSN, MSEdBoard Secretary
Community Engagement Lead, Neuropsychiatric Research Center
Melissa Bonner
Melissa Bonner
CEO, Dr. Piper Center for Social Services, Inc.
 Jaime Crossan-DeBres, LCSW
Jaime Crossan-DeBres, LCSW
Director, Community Health Partners
William N Haas III
William N Haas III
Real Estate Agent, EXIT Ryan Scott Realty
Alyssa Haney, CFMP
Alyssa Haney, CFMP
AVP, Marketing Specialist, First Foundation Inc.
Robbie Maris, B.B.A., MLO, RE, CAM
Robbie Maris, B.B.A., MLO, RE, CAM
Mortgage Loan Originator | Real Estate Agent
Diane Ponton, MSEd
Diane Ponton, MSEd
Chief Learning Officer, Grace Place for Children and Families
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What People Are Saying

Transitional housing for LGBTQ+ youth is the number one issue that we have in Collier County right now. We must send kids to the east coast or farther because there is nowhere for them to go right now.”

Cori Cracium, President, Naples Pride Center

“I haven’t come out to my parents yet. They don’t even know my name. I know that if I do they will kick me out, so a place like SAGE House is really needed.”

Anonymous, Collier County Student

“SAGE House will answer a desperate need in Collier County for the LGBTQ+ youth. At the present time, there is not a place for homeless LGBTQ+ teens to stay safe as well as receive counseling and care. GLSEN Collier County looks forward to supporting SAGE House as well as referring students, and other youth to it as a safe place.”

Christina Schmeckpeper-Kobzina, Co-Chair, GLSEN Collier County
it takes a village

Community Partners