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Supporting New York’s Homeless LGBT Youth (VIDEO)

Supporting New York’s Homeless LGBT Youth (VIDEO)

 

A new video from the Ali Forney Center demonstrates with some startling statistics just how vulnerable New York’s homeless LGBT youth are and why advocates have decided that cuts to homeless youth shelter funding means they must take action.

 

The Campaign for Youth Shelter headed by the Ali Forney Center calls on New York’s administration, includingGovernor Andrew Cuomo, the New York State Legislature, Mayor Bloomberg, and the New York City Council, to pledgean additional $3 million per year in funding.

Reports suggest thatLGBT youth comprise around 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. Many LGBT youth without shelter are forced to resort to prostitution in order to survive, and approximately 20% become HIV infected. Homeless LGBT youth are also at extraordinary risk of suicide, with 62% admitting to having considered or attempted suicide.

However New York’s administration in fact reduced funding for homeless youth this year by 50%, bringing the total money available for homeless youth shelters to $2.35 million. According to the campaign this just isn’t enough:

With fewer than 200 beds available for roughly 3,800 homeless youth, both New York City and New York State must do more to address the glaring lack of shelter for our young people.With an additional $3 million in funding for runaway and homeless youth shelters, we can begin to develop the response that this crisis truly calls for.

According to a news release from the Ali Forney center, campaign groups will hold an October 24 rallyin Union Square in Manhattan to highlight how serious he budget cuts issue is andto promote awareness about the dangers LGBT youth face when they are homeless.

You can learn more about the rally here.

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

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33 comments

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11:27AM PDT on Oct 14, 2011

It's not heterophobic to provide a safe space for homosexuals. Is it anti-man to have battered women's shelters? What about shelters that cater only to families? Is that anti-single-people? The sad truth is, a lot of shelters are deep down (or even on the surface!) hostile to gay people. The problem of homelessness is so large and multi-faceted, that it is much easier to cut down on certain types of homelessness by addressing them individually to overall reduce homelessness than it is to apply the monolithic "homeless" label to everyone and assume that the issues surrounding it are the same and that applying the same solutions to everyone will work every time. It won't. I know. When you can't get hired because people see your sexuality as a threat (for example), simply telling these people to try harder won't work the way it will for people who are homeless do to job loss, or drug use, or domestic violence, or a lack of education, etc. All these things need to be addressed on their own, and it is in no way a threat to "heterosexual" sheleters, because that's what most of them are anyway.

7:23PM PDT on Oct 9, 2011

It's great how the homosexual community get around and support their own so well. They are quite unique in this. However, campaigns to support issues that affect the entire population (*homosexual* youth homelessness, *homosexual* school bullying, etc) sound rather heterophobic to me, and will alienate many people that would otherwise help them in the cause. They should use their rallying experience to rally the whole community, FOR the whole community. In fact, ANY demographic that wants such things as "equal rights" should begin to see and treat all human beings as equals.

1:43PM PDT on Oct 9, 2011

Youth need to be encouraged and nurtured, where the parent's have failed there needs to be someone out there to help. Taking beds away from any youth, LGBT or not, is a crying shame. There does need to be more supports geared to LGBT youth out there for sure just as there needs to be more out there for Mental Health and Addictions, abused and exploited youth as well. In general there needs to be more support period and cutting beds and services does not help anyone.These are kids in crisis, forcing them to live on the streets is a form of abuse in itself. Where is the compassion for your fellow human being? Where is the love and support these kids so desperately need? If anything the city should be increasing help for these kids, not taking it away.

9:58AM PDT on Oct 9, 2011

Thanks. My heart goes out to them.

1:52AM PDT on Oct 9, 2011

Thanks for the article.

8:39PM PDT on Oct 8, 2011

Heartbreaking.

8:09PM PDT on Oct 8, 2011

Sorry but this isn't a new phenomena. Kids have been dumped for decades. Not for coming out necessarily but a variety of things.

It's not just New York. There's a new kind of homeless teen. A group of 2 to 6 kids will band together for safety and protection. They don't stay any place very long. They'll accept help but for the most part won't go into shelter.

They don't trust adults in the least little bit.

7:46PM PDT on Oct 8, 2011

All homeless should be considered.

4:22PM PDT on Oct 8, 2011

Thank you FRED K.....Homophobia is the wrong here not homosexuality..Religions cause homophobia.. There is nothing in the bible that says it is wrong to be born homosexual..The uneducated religious wrong in this world CHOOSE to persecute and hate because of misinterpretations of the bible and some refuse to listen to the truth.. That would shake up the very foundation of what they so-called "believe in"..The next major war will be fought over stupid fairytale religious bullshit.. They all should be banned and all who take part in them should be executed.

3:34PM PDT on Oct 8, 2011

Absolutely breaks my heart. When I have children, I will love them be they gay, straight, bisexual, asexual, transgender, or none of the above.

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