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, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, the New York State Legislature, Mayor Bloomberg, and the New York City Council, to pledge an additional $3 million per year in funding.
Reports suggest that LGBT 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 rally in Union Square in Manhattan to highlight how serious he budget cuts issue is and to promote awareness about the dangers LGBT youth face when they are homeless.