Ali Forney Center For LGBT Youth Destroyed By Sandy

Ali_Forney_flood_insertThis is a huge blow to an already bloated, under-funded network of support for homeless or displaced LGBT youth here in New York City: the Ali Forney Center on 22nd Street between 10th and 11th Avenues was completely flooded during last week's Hufficane Sandy.

From executive director Carl Siciliano:

Yesterday we were finally able to inspect our drop-in center in
Chelsea, half a block from the Hudson River. Our worst fears were
realized; everything was destroyed and the space is uninhabitable. The
water level went four feet high, destroying our phones, computers,
refrigerator, food and supplies.

This is a terrible tragedy for the homeless LGBT youth we serve there.
This space was dedicated to our most vulnerable kids, the thousands
stranded on the streets without shelter, and was a place where they
received food, showers, clothing, medical care, HIV testing and
treatment, and mental health and substance abuse services. Basically a
lifeline for LGBT kids whose lives are in danger.

We are currently scrambling for a plan to provide care to these
desperate kids while we prepare to ultimately move into a larger space
that will better meet our needs. The NYC LGBT Center has very kindly and
generously offered to let us temporarily use some of their space, and
we hope to determine the viability of that on Monday.

We have been deluged with kind offers from people who wish to
volunteer and donate goods. Unfortunately, we will have to provide our
services in the time being in much smaller spaces that won't accommodate
volunteers or allow for much storage space. The best way people can
reach out to help in this very challenging time is by making monetary
donations. Please go to our website.

It is heartbreaking to see this space come to such a sad end. For the
past seven years it has been a place of refuge to thousands of kids
reeling from being thrown away by their parents for being LGBT. For many
of these kids coming to our drop-in center provided  their first
encounter with a loving and affirming LGBT community. I thank all of you
for your care and support in a most difficult time.

Those of you who want to donate to help the center rebuild should click HERE.

[Image via Washington Blade]

Comments

  1. ratbastard says

    I understand accessibility, needs, and even security issues, but the fact is Manhattan may just be too expensive a place for the center to be located in. There are considerably less expensive locations in the other boroughs, some not far from Manhattan, where a dollar can be stretched a lot farther.

    ====================

    To extrapolate a little, as far as charities in general are concerned, all the major ones performed pretty abysmally during this incident, special honors to the Red Cross for their p*ss poor response. Many people have become quite leery of ‘giving’ for this reason. There appears to be endless scandals involving non-profits and charities and how they manage and spend their $.

    Likewise, FEMA’s response has been abysmal.

    BIG $$$ is given to non-profits and charities by private donors, and governments, and a big question still unanswered is where does most of the $ go? Because both public and private organizations generally come up far short when the SHTF.

  2. ratbastard says

    ‘Services tend to be located where they are required, not where they are cheap or convenient.’

    My comment:

    ‘I understand ACCESSIBILITY, needs, and even security issues…There are considerably less expensive locations in the other boroughs, some NOT FAR FROM MANHATTAN, where a dollar can be stretched a lot farther.’

    “Here’s a summary of FEMA’s “abysmal response”:”

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/01/us/sandy-fema/index.html

    ===========

    By almost UNIVERSAL accounts, they, along with private charities like the Red Cross, did a p*ss-poor job. DAYS after the event, FEMA are still trying to co-ordinate buying of water and it’s distribution. Just one example. I also am very close to people on the ground and they tell me it’s a clusterf*ck on all levels.

    =================

    AGAIN…Where do all the BILLIONS in $ earmarked for helping people in dire need go when TSHTF? Or even during so-called normal times, anyone who has dealt with charities and government social services knows how painful an experience it can be. They have no problem making big demands for funding increases and donations, though. Fact is there’s A LOT of fraud in private non-profits and in government social service bureaucracies, which IMO seem to exist primarily to provide jobs for the social services industry, lucrative private contracts, and creating and maintaining a large minority [and I don’t mean black,etc., when I use the word minority, here] or entitled and subjected people easy to manipulate for political purposes.

    Just saying.

  3. Runt says

    Seems like Ratbastard likes to make unsupported allegations, contrary to evidence, and back it up with “IMO.” Guess that’s why opinions are like …, everyone has one.

  4. Runt says

    Seems like Ratbastard likes to make unsupported allegations, contrary to evidence, and back it up with “IMO.” Guess that’s why opinions are like …, everyone has one.

  5. Jeff Kurtti says

    Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but not to their own facts.

    I cite a simple fact: People who need water are served by a well close to their home. A borough “not far from Manhattan” does not serve those in Manhattan, and adds a layer of cost and complexity. That’s just simple logic.

    I cite an actual news report, Ratbastard cites some vague reference to “universal” accounts.

    He’s a contrarian, plain and simple, and if it’s not both perfect and to his liking, it gets lengthy criticism. None of which is helpful either to crisis or discourse.

  6. Jeff Kurtti says

    Also note the Fox “News” tactic of “people are saying.”

    “I also am very close to people on the ground and they tell me it’s a clusterf*ck on all levels.”

    Who are these invisible people, and how the hell do they know what is happening on all levels.

    I am close to magic pixies in Central Park who tell me that lollipops are growing on the trees there.

    Saying something does not make it true.

  7. Ratbastard says

    To ‘Jeff’ and a few others:

    I understand you’re part of the clique and a true believer and/or shill for this or that institution, ideology, etc., I simply made a few statements based on my personal experience, knowledge and anecdotal info from people I trust. I also based some of it on what’s in fact being WIDELY reported by MANY news outlets, not just Fox [NEWSFLASH: Ratbastard doesn’t watch ‘Fox’ news, and he doesn’t like it anymore than CNN or MSNBC.]

    And please: I know NYC VERY well. If they can find a decent and economical spot Manhattan, fine, excellent, I have no quarrel…Manhattan would be a better location. I was just pointing out there’s many other parts of NYC besides Manhattan that are just as swell suited. It isn’t necessary for everything involving gays to be ghettoized. And IN FACT the other boroughs are less expensive than Manhattan. Nothing wrong with pointing this out.

    Contrarian? No more so, Sir/Madam, than many of the posters on here, including you,who hold views that are ‘Contrary’ to the dominate culture and society as a whole. I simply have a few viewpoints obviously different from yours. This doesn’t make me a ‘Contrarian’, as you mean it, i.e. ‘Troll’. Grow up.

  8. Jeff Kurtti says

    “Jeff” in snicker quotes? “Sir/Madam”? I actually post my real name Mr. Bastard, because I’m not afraid to posit ideas and discuss and defend them. Opinions are not facts. Period.

  9. MaddM@ says

    money is a lot easier to work with than a bunch of people who are untrained and unfamiliar with an organization who despite good intentions aren’t ready to hit the ground running. Just because it’s a not for profit doesn’t mean any wanda or wally walmart off the street can come in and do a good job. In addition how would they know if a “volunteer” was actually someone trying to get access to a group of vulnerable youth to exploit them?

    Or to summarize if you don’t know what you’re talking about please stop making crap up

  10. ratbastard says

    @Lil’ Canadian,

    YES Lil’ Canadian, my father was victim of a very violent crime committed by a group of young black men. 100% true. Why do you keep on bringing this up, Lil’ Canadian? And why do you troll under dozens of personas?

    ==========

    @Jeff,

    The CNN article is a classic ‘Hack’ job, not dissimilar to what Fox does on a daily basis. The people praising it are hacks, politicians, technocrats, academics, etc., And of course those with an axe to grind who will do and say anything to make the president look good.

  11. ratbastard says

    Blacks killed my dad, but there was never a police report filed because everyone knows that black-on-white attacks are never ever reported in the USA.

  12. castaway says

    Just a couple of questions (Don’t bite my head off):

    Didn’t this center just receive a multi -million dollar grant from the city? I seem to remember something of the sort not long ago?

    Why weren’t pre-storm flooding precautions taken like getting things off the floor, perhaps taken upstairs (if there is one)?

    Did they not have contents insurance?

    I think what the center does is awesome and would like to help, but could use some more information.

  13. BETTY says

    “Seems like Ratbastard likes to make unsupported allegations, contrary to evidence, and back it up with “IMO.” Guess that’s why opinions are like …, everyone has one.”

    RUNT: Ratbastard/Jason/Rick claims to have “knowledge”. He doesn’t. “I am very close to people on the ground”: yeah, those people are the FOX News reporters he sees on his TV screen from the basement of his mother’s house in a state far, far away. It is not a state of reality.

    “Just saying” he says. Well don’t. You know nothing.

  14. andrew says

    @Betty: You do know that some of the above posts attributed to Ratbastard are clearly posted by Little Kiwi. Did you see the comment about “Tinier testicles”? Classic Little Kiwi who believes that courage is located in the testicles.

  15. ratbastard says

    @Betty,

    I am ratbastard, not Jason or anyone else.

    Betty, I DO NOT WATCH FOX…let me repeat: I DO NOT WATCH, LISTEN OR READ FOX NEWS. I don’t care for CNN,MSNBC, ABC,CBS,PBS,NPR, NBC much better, but occasionally watch, listen or read. And yes, I personally know a few people very well who’re are in affected locations.

    Betty, I appreciate you’re a party true believer, and an ideolog, but I’m not. I don’t live my life and hold beliefs based on talking points and narratives.

  16. ratbastard says

    Blacks killed my dad, but there was never a police report filed because everyone knows that black-on-white attacks are never ever reported in the USA.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Nov 4, 2012 2:01:40 PM

    ===============

    This was posted by Lil’ Canadian, AKA Little Kiwi. He likes to troll this and other sites using many different personas.

    Lil’ Canadian: Of course there’s a police report. And no, I have no intention of scanning it and posting it. It is private and has much private information on it.

    ================

    @Castaway,

    I agree and was thinking the same things but didn’t say them. Yes, they received $ from the city, and yes, they should have prepared for the storm by at least securing the premises, storing stuff, getting stuff off the floor to high ground, etc., They have a bunch of homeless kids whom I’m sure would have been glad to help out and do some heavy lifting.

  17. BETTY says

    Umm ANDREW: I’m not an idiot. I was commenting on his original posts, not the obvious fake ones that anyone with a brain can figure out are clearly not written by him. Thanks for being patronizing though.

    @RATBASTARD: Thanks for pointing out what you believe I am…an “ideolog”. For the record, I’m left of center on social issues, and right of center (but not in a harsh GOP way) on economic issues. But you know so much and have everyone “pegged”, so whatever.

  18. Mary says

    Although I know little about the Ali Forney Center, I did donate to it last May, and regret to hear that it had this setback. As to comments about why they locate the Center in Manhattan, I would guess that this has to do with locating the shelter where the surrounding community will accept it. Not only are homeless kids housed here, but GAY homeless kids. It’s not like all places would be welcoming. The people who started the shelter must be as aware of economics as anyone else.

    And Ratbastard, I don’t mean to be insensitive. My heart goes out to anyone who lost a parent, especially in a violent way. But “black” didn’t kill him. A handful of people who happened to be black did. I’m sure most black people would be horrified by what happened to your Dad.

  19. andrew says

    @Betty: Sorry you think that I was patrionizing, but you often seem to be in lock step with Little Kiwi who is a dishonest poster on this site. He frequently posts ridiculous post in other people’s names. He is a mean spirited leftist, which I didn’t know existed until I started reading posts on this site. As a lifelong liberal, I thought that the liberals were always on the side of the angels, until the reality of wicked and mean spirited people like Little Kiwi came to my attention.

  20. BETTY says

    I’m hardly in lock step with Kiwi. I just get tired of Jason/Rick/Ratbastard’s sermons from the mount and their so-called knowledge. They confuse their opinion with actual facts.

  21. ratbastard says

    @Mary,

    I SAID A GROUP OF YOUNG BLACK MALES HURT HIM. I DIDN’T BLAME ALL BLACK PEOPLE AND I’M NOT RACIST. I HOLD NO GRUDGE AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE IN GENERAL.

    Little Kiwi frequently trolls using my name.

    There are some white people who need to get a grip; it’s OK to criticize black, Asian, Hispanic racist or bad behavior the same way it’s OK to criticize it in white people. IT DOESN’T MEAN YOU [OR THE WHITE PERSON SAYING IT] IS ‘RACIST’. Get a d*mn backbone; intelligent black, Hispanic and Asian people might respect you more.

    And it’s OK to criticize homosexuals, bisexuals, trans whatever, politicians on the left and right, sacred cows in general. It doesn’t mean you’re a ‘Hater’, or some sort [fill in the blank-ist]. Constantly accusing people of being a [fill in the blank]-ist is simply a lame and facile way of not having to respond to generally legitimate concerns and questions. It’s a CONTROL mechanism, same as twisted P.C. language

  22. ratbastard says

    @Mary,

    I SAID A GROUP OF YOUNG BLACK MALES HURT HIM. I DIDN’T BLAME ALL BLACK PEOPLE AND I’M NOT RACIST. I HOLD NO GRUDGE AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE IN GENERAL.

    Little Kiwi frequently trolls using my name.

    There are some white people who need to get a grip; it’s OK to criticize black, Asian, Hispanic racist or bad behavior the same way it’s OK to criticize it in white people. IT DOESN’T MEAN YOU [OR THE WHITE PERSON SAYING IT] IS ‘RACIST’. Get a d*mn backbone; intelligent black, Hispanic and Asian people might respect you more.

    And it’s OK to criticize homosexuals, bisexuals, trans whatever, politicians on the left and right, sacred cows in general. It doesn’t mean you’re a ‘Hater’, or some sort [fill in the blank-ist]. Constantly accusing people of being a [fill in the blank]-ist is simply a lame and facile way of not having to respond to generally legitimate concerns and questions. It’s a CONTROL mechanism, same as twisted P.C. language

  23. says

    I just want to add that the other drop-in center for homeless LGBT youth in Manhattan, the New Alternatives Center on Christopher Street, was also decimated by Sandy and also desperately needs support in the form of money or food donations or volunteers to help with their programs including a Sunday suppers for LGBT homeless youth. The director, Kate Barnhart, just emailed me that “the kids are VERY hungry. They ate 20 large pizzas yesterday.” While they normally make and serve healthier dinners than pizzas, if they had the resources, I’m pretty sure they’d have bought 40 large pizzas, or 100, and there are definitely more than enough hungry LGBT kids without homes in the area to eat them.

    So please consider also donating to New Alternatives:
    http://www.newalternativesnyc.org/how-can-i-help/

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