White House Names Ali Forney Founder Carl Siciliano ‘Champion Of Change’

CarlSicilianoA hearty congratulations to Carl Siciliano, the executive director and founder of NYC's Ali Forney Center, a homeless shelter and center for LGBT youth. It was just announced this morning that the White House has selected Siciliano as a Champions of Change Fight Against Youth Homelessness. The awards ceremony will take place on July 12th.

"It is thrilling that as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Ali Forney Center, we are also being recognized by the White House for our pioneering work on behalf of homeless LGBT youth," Siciliano said in a statement.

More from Siciliano:

When we opened the Ali Forney Center, the challenges we faced were daunting; there was very little awareness of the plight of homeless LGBT youth, especially on the federal level, and it was difficult to obtain support for our work.

I am very grateful to President Obama for recognizing the needs of homeless LGBT youth and incorporating their care into his vision of ending youth homelessness. I am also grateful to the White House for recognizing the quality, innovation, and  importance of the Ali Forney Center, which is a testament to all of the individuals who have served on the board, staff and as volunteers.

Hopefully the award will bring more attention to Siciliano's crusade. Demand for beds at the center has skyrocketed in recent years. To help alleviate the crush, the Ali Forney Center and their allies have launched the Campaign for Youth Shelter, which is asking the city and New York state for $3 million in funding that will help accommodate LGBT youth who are struggling on the street.


  1. stpetegreg says

    Congratulations Mr. Siciliano and the Ali Forney Center. I fortunately had the support of my parents when I came out 41 years ago, but many of my gay friends were not so lucky. My late Mom ended up being “Mom” to many teenage friends that were thrown out of their homes after coming out and sometimes we had 5-10 kids staying overnight, getting a good meal and a shower. Mom had many, many talks with parents of gay kids (back in the 70’s when it wasn’t a very popular thing to do) and helped many of them to understand that their kids were born that way and they should be supportive and protective when needed. She was quite a human being and was always ready to defend my right, and yours, to be who we are.


  2. ratbastard says

    Homelessness is a ridiculous problem to have in a fabulously wealthy and successful country like the U.S. Everybody, including those down on their luck or even worse kids who’ve been forced out onto the streets, deserve at a minimum a clean, SAFE, place to crash, along with food and healthcare. It does not have to be luxurious, just meet the minimum criteria I described. I’m disturbed that with all the government and private money spent to combat this problem, it’s still pernicious. I’m not an ‘expert’ but it seams something is wrong. All institutions and individuals, public and private, should be called to account why after huge sums of money spent on poverty and homeless issues, the basic minimum I described above has not been achieved.

  3. ratbastard says

    And the mentally ill who make up a BIG chunk of homeless need to be forcibly taken off the street and treated compassionately in a safe, secure environment. Why is something so basic and decent unachievable?

  4. UFFDA says

    Let’s hear it for Carl, a lot more attention and praise or RICK will be proved right that gay men are more interested in fawning over female performers than they are over the true leadership and heroics of our good and contributing gay brothers.

  5. Calvin says

    Bravo to this kind and good-looking man. He deserves recognition for helping the struggling LGBT youth. Society could use more people like Carl. Once again, Congratulations Carl, if you are reading this.

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