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NY Gov.’s Budget Cuts will Hit Homeless and Disabled Youth

NY Gov.’s Budget Cuts will Hit Homeless and Disabled Youth

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is racing against the clock to finalize planned budget cuts before the April 1 deadline, and with a projected deficit of $10 billion these cuts are going to bite. With lawmakers still wrangling over what to cut and where, and Cuomo advocating a government shutdown if no one can resolve the issue come April 1, cuts to homeless youth shelters and education facilities for disabled children are among the issues that have critics the most concerned.

While all homeless youth will be impacted if these proposed cuts go through, the Ali Forney Center (AFC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth homeless services center, warns that LGBTs will be especially affected under these plans.

From the PRWeb press release:

The Governor’s budget proposal of a new Primary Prevention Incentive Program (PPIP) would consolidate a variety of child welfare, juvenile justice, and youth development programs into a competitive block grant. This proposal eliminates $85 million in existing youth and family services to create the new PPIP block grant, to be funded at $35 million. The grant will be allocated to local social services districts on a competitive basis forcing different localities to compete for vastly reduced funds for the protection of disadvantaged youth. State funds previously dedicated to homeless youth would be eliminated.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth suffering homelessness would be disproportionately harmed by these cuts. LGBT youth comprise 40% of the homeless youth population of New York City, and according to a 2007 census commissioned by the New York City Council, over 1,000 LGBT youth are without shelter every night. Homeless LGBT youth without shelter often are forced to resort to prostitution in order to survive, and approximately 20% become HIV infected. Homeless LGBT youth are at extraordinary risk of suicide, with 62% admitting to having considered or attempted suicide.

“I can only hope that the Cuomo Administration, in proposing these cuts, did not understand their impact on homeless youth,” said Carl Siciliano, Executive Director of the Ali Forney Center. “It is unimaginable to me that the Governor would find it acceptable to throw homeless kids out of shelter beds, abandoning them to the streets to resolve a budget crisis. With so many youths’ lives at risk as they suffer on the streets waiting for shelter, we cannot give up even one bed. I am confident that the LGBT community will join us in letting the Governor know that we cannot tolerate such inhumane mistreatment of our most vulnerable youth.”

The Ali Forney Center (AFC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth homeless services center, is gathering support from the New York LGBT community and its allies. Concerned individuals in the thousands are reaching out to Governor Cuomo and to your State Senator and Assembly members and let them know you are strongly opposed to the plan to eliminate support for youth shelter beds and demand that youth shelter beds are fully restored in the 2011 budget. 

[Click here to read more about this issue and to sign a petition asking Cuomo to drop proposed cuts to homeless youth services. ]

Amid other serious concerns the cuts bring up, such as thousands being made unemployed and the impact on Medicaid services for workers that manage to retain their jobs, there is also the issue of numerous statutory changes for New York’s 4201 Schools for deaf, blind and severely physically disabled children.

Cuts will manifest in several ways, but one such action will be changing the funding structure for these schools to a ‘rate-setting’ model. This means that tuition would be paid by school districts and not the state – given that districts will be struggling with deep cuts, the 4201 Schools are concerned that districts will not choose to pay tuition to send students to 4201 Schools. Instead, they may opt to keep students in their own programs simply because it is more cost-effective to do so.

Furthermore, the eleven existing schools will be prohibited from having multidisciplinary teams to assess students, and prohibited further from developing IEP’s for students. All assessments and IEP development will therefore be done by the school district.

To quote Paul Norris, from Rochester School for the Deaf Parent and lead sponsor of our Care2 action on this matter, “The 4201 Schools are concerned that school districts may not have the expertise to conduct quality assessments and to develop appropriate IEP’s for students.”

Staff pension reductions, student placement once the 2012 changes take effect and a prohibitive environment due to cost-cutting are all pressing issues too.

While cuts are of course necessary to resolving a deficit problem, Cuomo’s budget appears to cut indiscriminately and without proper regard for the nature of the above programs and the vital services they provide. 

TAKE ACTION!: OPPOSE PROPOSED BUDGET CUTS FOR NY 4201 SCHOOLS

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Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to Franko Folini.

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25 comments

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10:20AM PDT on Mar 24, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

12:16PM PDT on Jul 18, 2011

It is very terrible to have no home, no place to go, no shelter.
And how can someone play a god? Don't have all people the same right, to have a home, get education (as good as possible), live in peace and with shelter? How can someone point at people because they are different - their religions, their skin colours,... their way of life (i apologize for my miserable English, that i do not really know how to write what i want to say). And thinking about religion and about God, it is true, that man and woman should find each other, because if that would not be so, then why are there men and women, why not only men, or not only women on this world? But when someone lives in an other way, so he/she is not to persuade and to judge. A doing should get critics, as people say war is wrong, pollution is wrong,... but they do not harm soldiers, etc. They don't have to harm people. This is the real truth, as Jesus Christ told when he saved the woman, who was threatened by stone throwing people: who is without any sins? Who could judge an other person, when he/she is a sinner, too?

12:14PM PDT on Jul 18, 2011

It is very terrible to have no home, no place to go, no shelter.
And how can someone play a god? Don't have all people the same right, to have a home, get education (as good as possible), live in peace and with shelter? How can someone point at people because they are different - their religions, their skin colours,... their way of life (i apologize for my miserable English, that i do not really know how to write what i want to say). And thinking about religion and about God, it is true, that man and woman should find each other, because if that would not be so, then why are there men and women, why not only men, or not only women on this world? But when someone lives in an other way, so he/she is not to persuade and to judge. A doing should get critics, as people say war is wrong, pollution is wrong,... but they do not harm soldiers, etc. They don't have to harm people. This is the real truth, as Jesus Christ told when he saved the woman, who was threatened by stone throwing people: who is without any sins? Who could judge an other person, when he/she is a sinner, too?

7:42PM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

I agree with the former statement. Tax the rich. House the homelessness. Support the desperate children without supports. What is happening to our society!

5:03PM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

Tax cuts for the rich and fund cuts for the poor. We need to cut funding for these wars that are draining and bankrupting our country.

2:45PM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

Don't see anything about tax cuts for campaign contributors here. The current crop of Republican politicians are psychopathic, marching to the Koch Bros., big oil’s, Healthcare “Insurer’s” Fascist agenda. They covet possessions and power, they gain special pleasure in usurping and taking from others; what they can plagiarize, swindle, and extort are fruits far sweeter than those they can earn through honest labor. Cuomo is a Democrat, so only half as bad.

10:55AM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is racing against the clock till he is re-called due to his lack of empathy of those less fortunate...try living on the streets of NY Cuomo then tell me you still want to do this you jerk...one more dumb politican ... You would think they could take a pay cut an save a homeless person from such things as his hatred of the less fortunate but you will pay you piece of sht

9:44AM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

I hope that those affected by these cuts set up their cardboard boxes and sleeping bags in the neighborhoods of the GOP legislators who voted in favor of bailing out Wall St. after they caused the recent financial meltdown. Let's face it, their votes in favor of corporate welfare for their Wall St. campaign contributors strained the budget and caused cuts to programs that would have afforded the homeless some modicum of dignity. It also caused countless foreclosures, which resulted in families losing their homes. These legislators will never know what it's like to be homeless. It might do them a world of good to get a good look of the results of their greedy, self-serving actions.

9:34AM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

There shouldn't be any youths (or grown ups) that are homeless..to start with. We give rapists and murderers a small room, a bed, a blanket and 3 meals a day...why can't we do that for homeless people?

9:14AM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

This governor wanna cutting because he never learn a homeless lesson before. The greed controls him.

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