Articles
Church Aids Expansion of Shelter for Gay Youths
New York Times City Room Blog, December 8, 2009



Homeless Youths: Live in the Bea House
The Advocate, August 18, 2009



Youth Homeless Center Threatened
Gay City News, October 16, 2008

Slain NYC Gay Man is Remembered
Associated Press, December 7, 2007

Young, Gay, Homeless, Dead
New York Blade, November 30, 2007

The Advocate Features the Ali Forney Center
The Advocate, September 25, 2007

Ali Forney Puts Premium on Youth HIV Testing
Chelsea Now, September 21, 2007

Saving Our GLBT Homeless Youth
About.com, January 23, 2007

Building a Humane Model
Gay City News, September 28, 2006

Do We Reject our LGBT Children?
Advocate.com, June 29, 2006




Advocates Push for Homeless Youth Shelter
Gay City News, April 14, 2005


Gimme Shelter
Time Out New York, June 10-17, 2004


Hope for Homeless Youth
New York Blade, May 14, 2004

Homelessness and Hope: Building Safe Housing Alternates for Queer Youth
Gay City News, Vol. 2, Issue 49, December 4-10, 2003

Living on the Edge
New York Blade, February 21, 2003
Ali Forney Center in the News
Featured Article.

 

Ali Forney Center Awarded 620k by New York City Council
By Julie Bolcer

 

The sleeping quarters at the Ali Forney Center?s new 16-bed shelter in Astoria, Queens, financed by a donation Episcopal Community Services of Long Island.
The Ali Forney Center has received $620,000 from the New York City Council to take over operations for a 20-bed emergency shelter in Brooklyn that will serve homeless and runaway LGBT youths.

According to people familiar with the award, the money represents a shift of funds previously allocated in the city budget for another nonprofit organization, Turning Point, that failed to comply with shelter licensing requirements. As a result, the award does not add to the total number of beds available for homeless and runaway youths in New York City, a figure that stands inadequately in the low hundreds, but it does increase the portion of those beds designated for LGBT youths, the population served by the Ali Forney Center.

"We are grateful to have the additional shelter beds,” said Carl Siciliano, the executive director of the Ali Forney Center, in a telephone interview this week. “It is a terrible thing to see so many LGBT youth forced to survive out in the streets while they wait for beds. We hope to have the new site opened by October so fewer kids will have to suffer in the cold this winter."

The most recent census funded by the City Council in 2007, prior to the current economic crisis, found that almost 4,000 homeless and runaway youths live in New York City. An estimated 40% of them are believed to be LGBT, a segment of homeless youngsters at elevated risk for HIV infection and suicide attempts.

Siciliano said city officials contacted him several weeks ago about taking over the shelter contract, and they agreed to a grant to prevent his organization from having to front any expenses. Located in two adjoining houses in the Sunset Park neighborhood, the fully furnished shelter will bring to 77 the total number of emergency and longer-term transitional beds managed mostly in Brooklyn by the Ali Forney Center, but the organization still has a waiting list of 180 young people.

“Support has really eroded in a time when there are more kids than ever,” he said. “There’s this gross lack of capacity right now. So many kids are being affected by the recession.”

City Council member Lew Fidler, the chair of the youth services committee, said the Ali Forney Center was selected for the money, which is budgeted through June 2012, because of its strong reputation and the population it serves. In fact, the grant may make the organization the largest direct-service LGBT youth organization in the country, with a budget around $5 million.

“As the leader on this particular issue, I was asked by the speaker [New York City Council speaker Christine Quinn] where I thought was appropriate, and there was no organization with a finer reputation for servicing a diverse population in this area than Ali Forney,” said Fidler. “It wasn’t hard to convince people that as long as they thought they could handle the capacity, it should go to them. It’s important that the shelter bed portfolio be diverse so that whoever you are, you have a place where you can go that will be comfortable with your needs.”

As federal and state funding has dwindled in recent years, the City Council has acted as a buffer, stepping in this year to restore millions in drastic cuts by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose administration provides nearly half the city’s $12 million budget for runaway and homeless youth services. Similar strains appear inevitable next year or perhaps even sooner, as Fidler worries that the debt negotiations in Washington could have an “awful, awful ripple effect” that forces the city and state to make more adjustments.

“That’s the unfortunate reality of really every dime in this city budget. We’re not permitted to budget for years around. I will say that as long as I’m around it will be taken out of the budget over my big fat dead bloody body,” said the Brooklyn lawmaker.

Looking ahead, Siciliano plans to press the campaign, launched this summer in collaboration with other service providers, advocates, and local political clubs, to ask the city and state to commit to creating 100 new beds for homeless youths each year. The groups announced their initiative outside the Stonewall Inn in the West Village June 24, just hours before the state Senate passed the marriage equality bill signed into law that night by Cuomo.

“We were a little overshadowed,” said Siciliano. “But we’ll be back.”

 

'Golden Girls' star Bea Arthur leaves $300,000 in will to NY group that helps gay homeless youths
News Staff, NY Daily News

 

Bea Arthur
Photo credit: Micelotta/Getty

Bea Arthur left $300,000 in her will to a New York organization that aids homeless gay youth.

The Ali Fornay Center provides services to more than 1,000 each year, and is planning to buy a building to house 12 young people - and name it in honor of the "Golden Girls" actress.

The head of the center said he is thrilled with the stage and television legend's generosity.

"We work with hundreds of young people who are rejected by their families because of who they are," said Executive Director Carl Siciliano.

"We are overwhelmed with gratitude that Bea saw that LGBT youth deserve as much love and support as any other young person, and that she placed so much value in the work we do to protect them, and to help them rebuild their lives," he said.

The Ali Forney Center offers emergency shelter and transitional housing in seven residential sites in New York.

It also operates two drop-in centers offering food, clothing, medical and mental health treatment, HIV testing, treatment and prevention services, and vocational and educational assistance.

Read more HERE.

 

The Advocate features Ali Forney Center
The Advocate, September 25, 2007

 

Ali Forney Center featured by the Advocate.
Photographed by Christopher Lane on August 10 in New York City

From left:
Jama Shelton, Director of Housing
Julianna Velazquez, Client
Carl Siciliano, Executive Director
Manley Joseph, Client

Click here for the larger version

The Ali Forney Center

YEAR FOUNDED: 2002

HEADQUARTERS: New York City

MISSION: To provide homeless LGBT youths, age 16-24, with the services they need to escape the streets and become independent as they move from adolescence to adulthood

ANNUAL BUDGET: $3.4 million
NUMBER OF STAFF: 50

INNOVATION: The center provides short- and long-term housing -- 32 beds in total, in six apartments -- plus free medical care, HIV testing, mental health services, showers, food, computer access, and job training and placement at its drop-in center in Chelsea.

IMPACT: Since the center's transitional housing program opened in 2006, seven kids have moved into their own residences. "The vast majority of rights that we've achieved in various cities and states as a community don't hit kids," says executive director Carl Siciliano. "So if a kid comes out and their parents refuse to support them, they're just in this really vulnerable state. We need to create a structure where kids can be housed and nurtured and supported from adolescence to adulthood if their parents refuse to do it."

RECENT WORK: Partnering with Carson Kressley on a program to provide kids with clothes suitable for job and school interviews

FUTURE GOALS: Making available 16 more beds by the end of the year; Siciliano would also like to put the financing together to start purchasing houses instead of continuing to rent apartments

Featured Articles


Poor Black and Hispanic Men are the Face of H.I.V

(Ali Forney Center clients highlighted in an article about black and latino youth as the new face of HIV/AIDS)

(The New York Times, December 2013)


One Year Later, the LGBT face of Superstorm Sandy still bouncing back

(AlJazeera/America, October 2013)


Carl Siciliano Named Champion of Change by the

White House

(The White House, June 2012)


Statement from Carl Siciliano on Pope Benedict's anti-gay rhetoric and the endangerment of LGBT youths

(December 2012)


Denied Shelter Beds, Many of NYC's Homeless Youth Turn to Prostitution

(HuffPost Gay Voices, October 2012)


Homeless youth: the next battle for gay equality

(Associated Press, March 2012)


Homeless LGBT youth find shelter at Brooklyn's Ali Forney Center, but non-profit needs help too

(Daily News, October 2011)


Young, Gay and Homeless: Fighting For Resources

(NPR, November 2011)


Ali Forney Center Awarded 620k by New York City Council

(Advocate, August 2011)


Tracy Morgan meets with LGBT homeless teens in NY, marks return to Tennessee after homophobic rant

(Daily News, June 2011)


'Golden Girls' star Bea Arthur leaves $300,000 in will to NY group that helps gay homeless youths

(Daily News, October 2009)


 

The Advocate features Ali Forney Center
The Advocate, September 25, 2007

 

Ali Forney Center featured by the Advocate.
Photographed by Christopher Lane on August 10 in New York City

From left:
Jama Shelton, Director of Housing
Julianna Velazquez, Client
Carl Siciliano, Executive Director
Manley Joseph, Client

 

The Ali Forney Center

YEAR FOUNDED: 2002

HEADQUARTERS: New York City

MISSION: To provide homeless LGBT youths, age 16-24, with the services they need to escape the streets and become independent as they move from adolescence to adulthood

ANNUAL BUDGET: $3.4 million
NUMBER OF STAFF: 50

INNOVATION: The center provides short- and long-term housing -- 32 beds in total, in six apartments -- plus free medical care, HIV testing, mental health services, showers, food, computer access, and job training and placement at its drop-in center in Chelsea.

IMPACT: Since the center's transitional housing program opened in 2006, seven kids have moved into their own residences. "The vast majority of rights that we've achieved in various cities and states as a community don't hit kids," says executive director Carl Siciliano. "So if a kid comes out and their parents refuse to support them, they're just in this really vulnerable state. We need to create a structure where kids can be housed and nurtured and supported from adolescence to adulthood if their parents refuse to do it."

RECENT WORK: Partnering with Carson Kressley on a program to provide kids with clothes suitable for job and school interviews

FUTURE GOALS: Making available 16 more beds by the end of the year; Siciliano would also like to put the financing together to start purchasing houses instead of continuing to rent apartments

 

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