Ali Forney Hub




Rally for Homeless LGBT Youth Tonight in NYC: VIDEO

Mixner

There is a rally this evening for LGBT Homeless Youth in Washington Square Park in NYC. Details HERE:

The National Coalition for the Homeless and the Ali Forney Center have joined together to launch the National Campaign for Youth Shelter, a collaboration that will build a grassroots campaign to demand a national response to youth homelessness.

On Monday, June 2nd the National Campaign for Youth Shelter will hold a rally in New York City to launch the campaign as a priority within the LGBT movement. LGBT youth are disproportionately over-represented in the homeless youth population, with as many as 40% of the nation's homeless youth being LGBT, while only 5% of the overall youth population is LGBT.

Currently, there are only approximately 4,000 youth shelter beds in the United States, yet as many as 500,000 unaccompanied youths experience homelessness each year.

Watch longtime activist and Towleroad contributor David Mixner talk about the need to help our homeless LGBT youth, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Rally for Homeless LGBT Youth Tonight in NYC: VIDEO" »


Plea to Pope Francis on Behalf of Homeless LGBT Youth Appears in Full-Page 'NYT' Ad

Pleatopopefrancis

Faith in America has taken out a full-page ad in today's New York Times to make an impassioned plea to Pope Francis on behalf of homeless LGBT youth. The letter to the Pope is written by Carl Siciliano, the executive director of the Ali Forney Center, NYC's largest shelter for homeless LGBT youth.

Read the ad HERE.

GoldWrites Faith in America founder Mitchell Gold in a press release:

"So much has been accomplished for LGBT legal equality….now we hope the next wave will be an all-out effort for LGBT spiritual equality…one that will especially protect vulnerable teens….and one that will enable all legislation to be passed. Just imagine for a moment if so many of the kids that have killed themselves did not grow up being taught that homosexuality was sinful….if when they came out to their parents they were totally embraced rather than being told they were “disappointed” and needed counseling….if they felt they had family and church to turn to?

"I’ve come to see that in the final analysis it is this “sin” hurdle that is the basis for too many to be against LGBT equality and it is clearly one of the most harmful parts of an LGBT teen’s life. Just a few months ago a precious 13 year old in my community told me how he agonizingly contemplated suicide for over a tortuous year. Why? Because he thought he was a sinner. On a very basic, simple level I believe we must dismantle this wall of outdated, misguided and ill-informed religious teachings. Not an easy task….but one that has to be done…..by all of us, with a concerted effort."

A Facebook page was also launched to accompany the ad.


'Say Something' Cover Benefits LGBT Homeless Youth: VIDEO

Saysomething

The band Fancy Reagan and singer Kelly King have collaborated on a cover of A Great Big World's hit single "Say Something" and are donating all the proceeds to NYC's largest LGBTQ youth homeless shelter The Ali Forney Center.

Check out the excellent cover and video, AFTER THE JUMP...

And buy it here on iTunes.

Kelllyking

Continue reading "'Say Something' Cover Benefits LGBT Homeless Youth: VIDEO" »


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]


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.


Ali Forney Remembered, 10 Years Later, at Manhattan Service

A Manhattan service that drew dozens of people was held last night to mark the murder of Ali Forney, fatally shot in the head ten years ago this month while living homeless on the streets of New York.

Aliforney_2The AP reports: "His death highlighted the issue of homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youths and young adults, and it led to the opening of an organization that provides housing and other help for them."

Said Carl Siciliano, the founder and executive director of New York's Ali Forney center: "Gay youth were getting gay-bashed [in the city's traditional youth shelters], so Ali was afraid to go there. A lot of them decided to stay on the street."

According to AP, "Siciliano met Forney while working at a defunct Times Square center for homeless youths. Fed up with the absence of housing and services for gay youths and what he saw as the lack of a sense of urgency to provide them, he was inspired to create the Forney center in 2002. It started in a church basement with a $37,000 grant from an anonymous donor. Today, the center has an annual budget of more than $3 million and houses 43 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, people between the ages of 16 and 24. It also provides HIV testing, health care, meals and employment assistance, said Siciliano."

Slain NYC Gay Man Is Remembered [ap]
The Ali Forney Center [official site]


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