by Bill Torres, Director of Community Resources at The Ali Forney Center
As the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) people grows in our society, more and more.
LGBTQ teens are finding the courage to come out of the closet. Tragically, as many as 25% of these teens are rejected by their families, and many end up homeless on the streets. Homeless LGBTQ teens are more likely than straight homeless teens to be subjected to violence on the streets, and in the homeless shelter system. They suffer from inordinate rates of mental illness, trauma, HIV infection and substance abuse.
The Ali Forney Center (AFC) was started in June of 2002 in response to the lack of safe shelter for LGBTQ youth in New York City. We are committed to providing these young people with safe, dignified, nurturing environments where their needs can be met, and where they can begin to put their lives back together.
AFC is dedicated to promoting awareness of the plight of homeless LGBTQ youth in the United States with the goal of generating responses on local and national levels from government funders, foundations, and the LGBTQ community.
This wonderful gift of books from The Make It Safe Project will help us in our mission to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) youth from the harm of homelessness, and to support them in becoming safe and independent as they move from adolescence to adulthood.