On Monday night, the Ali Forney Center will host a rally in Union Square to draw attention to the thousands of homeless youth in New York. As the nation's largest LGBT youth homeless services center, the Ali Forney Center has been providing housing, meals, counseling, and primary medical care to some of New York's most vulnerable residents since June 2002.
According to Wil Fisher, Director of Communications and Special Events at the Ali Forney Center, LGBT youth in New York are up to eight times more likely than straight youth to experience homelessness. There are an estimated 4000 homeless youth (roughly 40-50% of whom identify as LGBT) on the streets every night, but Governor Cuomo's budget cuts last April slashed funding for homeless youth shelters by 50%.
The Center has since "been scrambling to fill holes in funding as cuts are threatened," but Fisher said they have "been fortunate thanks to a number of corporations and private donors and no programs have been shut down. We currently have 57 beds and are adding another 20 soon...The thing is that we are looking to expand. We have a wait list of over 100 per night," he added.
LGBT Rally for Homeless Youth from Ali Forney on Vimeo.
Planned by representatives from the Ali Forney Center, the Bronx Community Pride Center, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, Green Chimneys NYC, the Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn, and Queer Rising, The Rally For Homeless LGBT Youth starts at 6:00pm in Union Square on Monday, October 24th.