On Thanksgiving Eve, the Ali Forney Center received a grim letter from New York City’s Department of Youth and Community Development.
Due to a combination of City and State budget reductions for FY11 and FY12, DYCD has made the difficult decision to reduce Runaway and Homeless Youth Services funds by $969,407 and $700,000, respectively, beginning this fiscal year. In order to preserve residential services for young people in need of a safe place to stay, DYCD has decided to modify Street Outreach and Drop-In Center Services. As a result of the combination of State and City reductions, Street Outreach Services will be reduced by 50% in FY11 and eliminated in FY12. Drop-In Center services funded by the City Council will be reduced by 50% in FY11 and DYCD’s Borough-based Drop-In Centers in Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens will be reduced by one-third in FY11 and 23% in FY12. The Staten Island Drop-In Center will be reduced by 10% in FY12
Ali Forney Center executive director Carl Siciliano:
LGBT youth make up 40% of New York City’s homeless youth population. Every night there are hundreds who suffer on the streets with nowhere safe to go. While I agree that housing is the most crucially needed service, outreach workers and drop-in centers are a lifeline for kids who are stranded on the streets without shelter. These reductions frankly constitute an attack on the safety and welfare of our most vulnerable youth.
I have been in contact with members of the City Council who are outraged by the cuts and want them overturned. I have been asked to have as many people as possible turn out for a DYCD-sponsored Forum on Homeless LGBT Youth this Wednesday at 5:30pm at 1 Center Street, so the City can see that people are upset by these cuts. In order to show your support for our youth in a time of crisis, I am asking each one of you to make every effort to attend.
If you are in NYC, please consider attending tomorrow afternoon’s emergency meeting! Location: Borough President Scott Stringer’s conference room, 19th floor, 1 Center Street.