The NYC City Council has restored $85 million to the city's budget including money that was cut from LGBT homeless youth programs late last year.
Earlier this week, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg was criticized by Carl Siciliano, the executive director of The Ali Forney Center, the city's largest provider of shelter and services for homeless LGBT youth, for making an "It Gets Better" video encouraging gay teens to come to New York while the city slashed funding for many of those at-risk teens.
Siciliano responded to the restoration of the funding in a statement:
"This morning City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn (pictured) and Finance Committee Chair Domenic M. Recchia Jr. announced that the Council and Administration have reached a budgetary agreement on the Fiscal Year 2011 financial plan, that fully restores the spending reductions to homeless youth programs proposed by Mayor Bloomberg in the November financial plan. This is wonderful news for the homeless youth of our City, particularly for homeless LGBT youth who would be disproportionately hurt by the proposed cuts. I am profoundly grateful to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and the Council Assistant Majority Leader and Youth Services Committee Chair Lewis Fidler for their strong and dedicated leadership in seeking to have these cuts restored. Thousands of homeless youth have been protected by their compassionate leadership."
Said Council Member Lewis Fidler, Chair of the Council's Youth Services Committee: "On behalf of the 3,800 runaway and homeless youth who sleep on our City streets every night, I say thank you. Restoring the cuts to shelter services for these kids, the most vulnerable of the vulnerable, is a huge win for those who care about children. Our ability to restore some measure of the cuts to after-school services reflects the Council's priority supporting the care and education of our children and the importance of these programs for our future. Special thanks to Speaker Quinn, Finance Chairman Recchia and the Council staff for banging out this deal in a fiscally responsible way."