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Protect LGBTQ Youth
As the visibility of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) people grows in our society, more and more LGBTQ teens are finding the courage to come out of the closet.
Tragically, as many as 25% of these teens are rejected by their families, and many end up homeless on the streets. Homeless LGBTQ teens are more likely than straight homeless teens to be subjected to violence on the streets, and in the homeless shelter system. They suffer from inordinate rates of mental illness, trauma, HIV infection and substance abuse.
The Ali Forney Center (AFC) was started in June of 2002 in response to the lack of safe shelter for LGBTQ youth in New York City. We are committed to providing these young people with safe, dignified, nurturing environments where their needs can be met, and where they can begin to put their lives back together.
AFC is dedicated to promoting awareness of the plight of homeless LGBTQ youth in the United States with the goal of generating responses on local and national levels from government funders, foundations, and the LGBTQ community.
Our mission is to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) youth from the harm of homelessness, and to support them in becoming safe and independent as they move from adolescence to adulthood.
AFC offers the most comprehensive and clinically infused programs dedicated to meeting the needs of homeless LGBTQ youth. Through our Outreach Services, Drop In Center and Emergency and Transitional Housing we see over 1,000 homeless LGBTQ youth each year. We offer three warm meals a day, showers and clothing as many are kicked out of their homes with very little belongings. We provide youth with on-site medical and mental health services, HIV and STI testing and treatment, substance abuse support, career and educational counseling and life skills mentoring. Above all, we offer these young people the tools they need to reclaim their lives and become independent. In fact, 99% of youth in our Transitional Housing Program are employed and 77% are enrolled in higher education (college or voc-ed schools).