Tag Archives: Ali Forney Center

NYC Homeless LGBT Youth Center Defies NYC's New Overnight Sleeping Ban

NYC Homeless LGBT Youth Center Defies NYC’s New Overnight Sleeping Ban

NYC Mayor Eric Adams blames migrants for new rule.

NYC’s Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) last month told the nonprofit providers of services for the city’s five overnight facilities to stop allowing those served — desperate New Yorkers between the ages of 14 and 24 — to sleep at the locations. 

The New York Times reports:

The city’s overnight drop-in centers for homeless and runaway youth, which are serving a rising number of young people, received a jarring message last month: “Effective immediately, providers are required to discontinue the practice of allowing youth and young adults to sleep overnight.” At least one of the centers has responded in turn: no. Alexander Roque who runs Ali Forney, a Manhattan center that serves L.G.B.T.Q. youth, said “they would have to shut us down and put me in handcuffs” before he would comply with the directive. “If the city threatens us and takes away our funding, I will continue to let our clients sleep, because that’s what’s at stake, their mental health is at stake,” Mr. Roque said. The drop-in centers, operated by five city-funded nonprofits, are not homeless shelters, but there is one in each borough open 24 hours a day to serve teenagers and young people between the ages of 14 and 24. They provide food, laundry, education and career services, among other things. And, though they do not operate as official homeless shelters, many had also provided cots or other places for young people to sleep.

Despite concerns that the restriction is pushing young people back out on the street where they are in constant danger. Mayor Eric Adams said the city’s migrant crisis is preventing his administration from adding more badly needed shelter beds for young people. 

With all the disposable money in the LGBT Community perhaps we should start sheltering our own.

LGBT Blogs and Twitter Help Raise Over $100K For Sandy Destroyed Homeless LGBT Youth Center In NYC

Yesterday Back2Stonewall.com along with other LGBT Blogs including Joe My God posted the horrible news that the Ali Forney Center, one of the few places in New York City that provided homeless LGBT kids with safe haven and counseling was totally destroyed by the wrath of Hurricane Sandy.

After the LGBT blogs took the news and ran with it and we crossed over to Twitter with donation information yesterday alone over $100,000.00 was raised to help the Ali Forney Center.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Pam Grier tweeted the news to hundreds of thousands of followers, Joseph Gordon-Levitt tweeted it to hundreds of thousands more, and  in less than 24 hours, the Ali Forney Center had received more than 900 donations totaling $100,000, Siciliano said in an interview  Sunday evening. “We’ve never had a day where $100,000 came in online before,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “That’s actually kind of phenomenal. And it shows the power of social media to do good.” Although LGBT youth had historically been marginalized by traditional, mainstream institutions, Siciliano said, now the community could rally around those needing help the most. And social media helped make it happen, allowing people to help each other without waiting for someone else to tell them what to do.

Many thanks also to @RugbyBenCohen who also helped us spread the word via Twitter and a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone that was able to help.  Words just escape me at how wonderful special you all are.

Yesterday’s fundraising was a big help to the AFC but they still have much further to go to recover from this disaster so they can continue to help out our little LGBT brothers and sisters.

AFC is continuing to take your donations.  If you’d like to kick in a few bucks via PayPal, use this email address there: mramos@aliforneycenter.org.

NY Activist Frank Selvaggi and Bill Shea Donate $100,000 To The Ali Forney Center’s “Homeless for the Holidays” Campaign

New York Activist Frank Selvaggi and Bill Shea have donated $100,000  to the The Ali Forney Center, the nation’s largest organization working on behalf of homeless LGBT youth for its “Homeless for the Holidays” campaign.

The “Homeless for the Holidays” campaign was launched to support the Campaign for Youth Shelter, an effort led by the Ali Forney Center  with other service providers and activists in the local LGBT community to create more shelters and beds for the severe problem of throwaway and homeless LGBT youth in New York City.  NYC  only offers around 250 shelter beds for homeless youth, although a census released in 2008 by the Empire State Coalition found that almost 4000 youths must go without shelter each night in New York and now 4 years later the number is dramatically higher.

Frank Selvaggi and Bill Shea are longtime activists and philanthropists. Selvaggi serves as Treasurer of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and is on the Board of Directors of Freedom to Marry. Shea is the National Director of Creative Services of Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization.

“We have been concerned about the most vulnerable members of our community, especially in light of the drastic cuts in funding that have historically helped keep our homeless youth safe. Through our contribution, we want to lead by example and challenge our peers and colleagues to do the same. During this holiday season, we all need to look deep into our hearts and wallets so that all members of our community, particularly our endangered and homeless LGBT youth, can be safe.”

LGBT homeless youth is not a new problem in New York City.  It has one that has existed for decades.  Many LGBT youths are more often kicked out of their homes than straight youths. And even if they are not kicked out, they may feel so uncomfortable that they leave. and they graviatate to the bigger city’s like New York where they hope to find acceptance.

The lack of services that NYC provides for its homeless in general is sparse and it’s also a brutal enviroment for adults let alone LGBT teenagers who live in fear of the city’s shelter system.

**For information on the Campaign for Youth Shelter, click here. Or to make a donation to the Ali Forney Center, click here.