COVID-19 Response

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Our Commitment

With the spread of COVID-19, many service organizations are understandably making the difficult decision to temporarily suspend their onsite services. This is not possible for the Ali Forney Center. We cannot close and ask our clients to call from home. We are their home. For LGBTQ+ youth experiencing the terrors of homelessness, we are their first responders. And now they need us more than ever.

COVID-19 Resources

Since March 2020, over 90% of our household clients have lost their jobs due to layoffs related to COVID-19, which means we've had to increase expenses to support their individual needs. Our grocery expenses at our housing sites have increased by $100K and in order to keep our housing and program fully staffed, AFC has offered frontline employees increased pay and funds for work-related travel.

COVID-19 Resources

AFC is here for you during this uncertain time, and you can connect to us through phone or email. You can email your care team directly or call 212-206-0574, and staff will connect you to whomever you need. 

It makes sense to feel anxious and overwhelmed right now. Make sure that every day you talk to people that you care about, you keep in touch with people who support you, an you do at least one thing each day that makes you happy. 

If, at any point, you feel scared or worried about keeping yourself or someone else safe, please know that there are resources, including AFC, that you may contact for more support. Below is a list of services you can call:

  • Trevor Hotline: 1-866-488-7386 (1-866-4-U-TREVOR) - A 24-hour hotline for crisis & suicide prevention for LGBTQ Youth. www.thetreborproject.org.
     

  • Anti-Violence Project (AVP):  (212-714-1141) a 24-hour bilingual hotline offering support for LGBTQ people in crisis regarding intimate partner violence, sexual assault, bias, and HIV-related violence.
     

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800-273-8255; suicidepreventionlifeline.org)
     

  • 1-800-NYC-WELL: (1-888-692-9355) this is a free, confidential 24/7 helpline available in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, and access to 200 additional translation services.
     

  • Crisis & Suicide Hotline: (515-679-1111), 24/7 hotline.
     

  • Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860.
     

  • SAMHSA's National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357), 24/7 365, Spanish and English

Needs by Housing Site

Now more than ever our youth are in need. You can help by purchasing items from our Amazon Wish List.

COVID-19: Caring for Homeless Youth

Ruth, 19


Ruth recently joined our Emergency Housing Program. She connected with AFC over the holidays of this past year. She was 19, living on the streets, resorting to sex work to survive and struggling with mental health issues. The trauma of being homeless and not having a family to turn to weighed on her. She felt lonely not having anyone, but she found comfort in other homeless youth, which is how she ended up at AFC. She has been consistent about her care with our mental health professionals, receiving the love and care she deserves. As the COVID-19 Pandemic reached New York City, Ruth began struggling with anxiety again and having feelings of hopelessness. Last week, after two weeks of practicing social distancing, Ruth had a panic attack. Living in fear of COVID-19, being isolated, and struggling with the loss of income has retraumatized her. She feels lonely and wishes she had a family who will accept her. Ruth, like many young people in our care, is concerned about COVID-19 and her future. Fortunately, Ruth is not alone. She has been able to connect with staff at her emergency housing shelter and with her therapist, who is helping her work through anxiety and reinforcing that although she may feel isolated and lonely during this time, she is not alone. She has increased her weekly therapy sessions and is managing her anxiety.





Communications from President & Executive Director:

Alexander Roque

Ruth, 19


Ruth recently joined our Emergency Housing Program. She connected with AFC over the holidays of this past year. She was 19, living on the streets, resorting to sex work to survive and struggling with mental health issues. The trauma of being homeless and not having a family to turn to weighed on her. She felt lonely not having anyone, but she found comfort in other homeless youth, which is how she ended up at AFC. She has been consistent about her care with our mental health professionals, receiving the love and care she deserves. As the COVID-19 Pandemic reached New York City, Ruth began struggling with anxiety again and having feelings of hopelessness. Last week, after two weeks of practicing social distancing, Ruth had a panic attack. Living in fear of COVID-19, being isolated, and struggling with the loss of income has retraumatized her. She feels lonely and wishes she had a family who will accept her. Ruth, like many young people in our care, is concerned about COVID-19 and her future. Fortunately, Ruth is not alone. She has been able to connect with staff at her emergency housing shelter and with her therapist, who is helping her work through anxiety and reinforcing that although she may feel isolated and lonely during this time, she is not alone. She has increased her weekly therapy sessions and is managing her anxiety.