Our mission is to help homeless LGBT youth be safe and become independent as they move from adolescence to adulthood.
As the visibility of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people grows in our society, more and more LGBT 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 LGBT 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 safeshelter for LGBT 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 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.
See our New Ad Campaign, filmed and directed in part by clients of the AFC
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New York City can be a brutal place for homeless youth and tragically, many young lives have been destroyed. At AFC, we are making a difference by rescuing kids from the dangers of the streets and placing them into our safe, homelike environments.
AFC is working hard to provide our youth with the support and nourishment they need to succeed and thrive. We cannot do this work alone. We need the help and support of the broader community to make NYC a safer place for homeless LGBT youth. Thank you for your support and interest.
Ali Forney was a homeless queer teen who was forced to live on the streets of New York during the 1990s. Ali was dedicated to the safety of other homeless queer youth; he was a committed HIV prevention worker, and aggressively advocated that the NYPD investigate a series of murders of the homeless queer youth he had befriended. Ali was an inspiration to those who knew him.
In December of 1997, Ali was murdered on the streets. His tragic death called attention to the atrocious conditions for homeless LGBT youth in New York. Ali's murderer has never been identified.
For more information on the life and death of Ali Forney, see the following articles:■ Helping Them Make It Through The Night
In 2005, Arthur said that her work to support organizations like the Ali Forney Center stemmed from wanting to make the world a better place for vulnerable kids. "I'm very, very involved in charities involving youth and the plight of foster children. But these kids at the Ali Forney Center are literally dumped by their families because of the fact that they are lesbian, gay, or transgender."