Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Impacting Homeless LGBT Youth

This past week, Hurricane Sandy battered the east coast and New York City and New Jersey in particular, leaving many without power, and many more without homes.  While their loss cannot be understated, and any assistance that people can offer to anyone is a positive step, I want to focus on a very specific group that Sandy has affected.

New York City alone has around 3,800 homeless youth, the most among U.S. cities, and more than at any point in history.  Studies have found that between 20% and 40% of these youth are LGBT, many of them disowned by their families for being who they are.

Executive Director, Carl Siciliano at Day Center with clients and staff via the Ali Forney Center's Website

Last week, a drop-in center, run by the Ali Forney Center which is dedicated to protecting homeless LGBT youth, was completely destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.  As some of you are aware, funding for organizations that take on youth homelessness has been slashed significantly in recent years with New York City currently maintaining only 250 state or city funded beds for homeless youth.

As I said, any money that goes towards those affected by Hurricane Sandy will help, but if you can spare a little extra for the homeless LGBT youth of NYC you'll be making a huge difference for kids that have only known ignorance, neglect, and abandonment.

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