ALI FORNEY CENTER TO ADD INNOVATIVE HOUSING AND HORMONE THERAPY PROGRAMS DEDICATED TO HOMELESS TRANSGENDER TEENS

ALI FORNEY CENTER TO ADD INNOVATIVE HOUSING AND HORMONE THERAPY PROGRAMS DEDICATED TO HOMELESS TRANSGENDER TEENS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, July 7th, 2015

CONTACT: Alex Roque, aroque@aliforneycenter.org, 212-206-9349

ALI FORNEY CENTER TO ADD INNOVATIVE HOUSING AND HORMONE THERAPY PROGRAMS DEDICATED TO HOMELESS TRANSGENDER TEENS

The Ali Forney Center (AFC) is very pleased to announce two new projects designed to meet the needs of our transgender clients. During the summer of 2015, we will launch a housing program designed to respond to the specialized needs of homeless transgender teens, and we will begin to offer hormone therapy at our medical clinic operated in the AFC drop-in center.

AFC has recently been awarded funding by the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development to provide a housing program for homeless transgender teens between the ages of 16 and 20. Youths will reside there for up to eighteen months, while AFC assists them with accessing benefits, medical care, education and employment. The policies of the program will be implemented in response to the specialized needs of transgender youths articulated by AFC transgender clients, staff, and advisors from the transgender community.

AFC is proud to announce that through our ongoing partnership with the Institute for Family Health we will be offering hormone treatment to our transgender and gender non-conforming clients via our on-site medical clinic. In conjunction with our transgender housing program, this is a vital resource for our transgender clients who are seeking hormone replacement therapy. Many of our clients are obtaining hormones through unsafe methods on the streets or are on lengthy waitlists to begin hormones at other clinics. The Institute will work with AFC to ensure that clients obtain hormones in the safest and least expensive fashion.

The determination that specialized housing and hormone therapy were important needs of our transgender clients grew out of the advice of AFC's Transgender Advisory Group, which is comprised of AFC transgender and gender non-conforming staff and clients, and meets regularly to provide guidance as to how AFC can best provide care to it's transgender clients.

"I am thrilled to be able to offer specialized housing and hormone therapy to our transgender clients," says Carl Siciliano, executive director of AFC. "Our transgender clients face the most violence, harassment, and discrimination in society of any of our youths, and I am deeply grateful to the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development and to the Institute of Family Health for allowing us to help our transgender clients be safer and better cared for."

“Transgender teens and young adults face many of the same challenges as their peers but also require specialized services and safety that this stand-alone center will offer,” said New York City Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Bill Chong. “Ali Forney Center has been an outstanding community partner in this effort from day one, and the City is proud to support their high-quality work in meeting the needs of our young transgender community.”

Speaking on behalf of the Mayor’s Office, Deputy Mayor Lilliam Barrios-Paoli said, “We are committed to ending the violence and discrimination facing transgender youth. This new partnership with the Ali Forney Center will mean that some of our most vulnerable young people with have the medical care, education and support they need to be safe and to thrive. This is a compassionate and groundbreaking program that will save lives, and we are proud to be a part of it.”

“As a former client of the Ali Forney Center I am incredibly grateful for their continued commitment to our transgender youths. I know firsthand how vital AFC's services are and I recognize that if it weren't for AFC my life would have been very different. " says Isis King, who launched her career as model, actress and transgender spokesperson while living at AFC. "I am now giving back to my community by serving in an advisory capacity to AFC as it works to further its services for the homeless transgender youth who come to them for care, support and love."

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About the Ali Forney Center: The Ali Forney Center (AFC) is the nation's largest organization dedicated to homeless LGBT youths, AFC is committed to providing these young people with safe, dignified, nurturing environments where their needs for housing and support can be met, and where they can begin to put their lives back together. AFC is also dedicated to promoting awareness of the plight of homeless LGBT youth in the United States with the goal of generating responses on local and national levels from government funders, foundations, and the LGBT community.  For more information visit:www.aliforneycenter.org

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About The Institute for Family Health The mission of the Institute for Family Health is to improve access to high quality, patient-centered primary health care targeted to the needs of medically underserved communities. In support of its mission, the Institute develops and operates community health care centers that include primary care, behavioral health, dental and social services. IFH also trains health care professionals to provide patient centered primary care on a family practice model; addresses barriers to health equity to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes; Promotes the meaningful use of health information technology to enhance the quality and efficiency of care, increase coordination with other providers, provide patients with access to their health records and communicate with the public health care system – all while maintaining the highest levels of privacy and security of personal health information; Implements community based health promotion and outreach programs; Engages in health services research and formulates policy related to primary care and mental health care delivery and education; and promotes workforce diversity and provides a work environment that encourages personal and professional development of its workers at all levels.