Ali Forney was a homeless gender nonconforming youth who was forced to live on the streets at the age of 13. Ali resorted to street work and drug use to survive. He kept a close group of friends and educated anyone he encountered about HIV prevention and safe sex. Ali took pride in helping others like him. Ali was well known by the police because he aggressively advocated that the NYPD investigate a series of murders of other homeless queer youth he had befriended. Carl Siciliano, AFC’s Founder and Executive Director, met Ali while working as the director of a homeless youth drop in center- Ali was 17.
In December of 1997, Ali was murdered on the streets. He was 22 years old. His tragic death called attention to the atrocious conditions for homeless LGBT youth in New York. In 2002, committed to making a difference and honoring Ali, Carl founded the Ali Forney Center. The Ali Forney Center houses and protects homeless LGBT youth living on the streets of New York. Like Ali, our Street Outreach Team educates teens about safe sex and HIV prevention. In our time we have grown to provide medical and mental health services. We also provide volunteer mentors, educational and career programs, life skills training and much more. Our goal is to not only provide food, water, and shelter: Our goal is to transform the lives of these young people so that they may reclaim their lives and never live on the streets again. Ali's murder has never been brought to justice, however, the spirit of Ali continues to live on in our work and in each of the lives we change.