Main | Tuesday, October 28, 2008

NYC Cuts All Funding For LGBT Homeless Youth Shelter

The Ali Forney Center's drop-in location for homeless LGBT youth is facing a crisis.
A leading provider of services for New York City's homeless queer youth may have to close its Chelsea drop-in location. The city health department told the agency that the $600,000 contract that funds the location will be ended in June of 2009.

"For the homeless LGBT youth of our city, the Ali Forney Center has been the difference between acceptance and rejection, frankly, between life and death," said Carl Siciliano, executive director of the Ali Forney Center (AFC), at an October 14 press conference. "I do not believe that the city would consciously disrespect the LGBT community by turning its back on our most vulnerable kids."

The drop-in location, which opened in 2005, is funded under the federal Housing Opportunities for People With AIDS program (HOPWA). The funds are administered by the health department and, after increasing the dollars from $300,000 to $600,000 in 2007, that agency told AFC six weeks ago that the dollars would be eliminated entirely. The $600,00 is the entire budget for the drop-in center.

In 2007, the drop-in location had more than 500 clients, placed 200 in emergency housing, served 10,000 meals, performed 250 HIV tests, and placed 50 HIV-positive clients into care and housing, Siciliano said. AFC has 12 service or administrative sites in the city, including the drop-in location, and has an annual budget of $3.3 million. The drop-in location is its sole intake site, and all AFC clients first come through there.
Several members of the state Assembly and NYC Council have co-signed a letter to Mayor Bloomberg pleading for a reversal of the spending cut. Donate to the Ali Forney Center here.

(Via - Duncan Osbourne @ Gay City News)

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