New Yorks Gay Youth Center Gets Grant



The Ali Forney Center (AFC) – the nation’s largest services and advocacy organization working on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) runaway and homeless youth – is excited to announce that it has received a grant from the Roger I. and Ruth B. MacFarlane Foundation. 

The grant will go to fund a new Host Home Program, modeled after programs successfully
implemented in other cities including Minneapolis and Chicago. In the program, adults will open their homes for up to one year to a limited number of the AFC’s youth, offering young people a chance to live day-to-day as part of a stable, LGBTQ-supportive household. Given a severe shortage of shelter beds in New York, the program has the potential to make a significant impact.

The AFC has been researching a Host Home Program for over two years,
visiting other organizations that have implemented such programs –
including Minneapolis’ Avenues for Youth and Chicago’s uCan – to learn
from their experiences and prepare to implement a counterpart in NYC.
The pilot version of the program will introduce one full-time Host Home
Coordinator who will lead implementation and community development. The
program offers NYC residents the opportunity to open their homes and
host a homeless LGBTQ youth for a period of up to one year. Both Host
Home Providers and youth will be supported through the program, which
will include training, counseling, and targeted goals. The AFC is
looking to explore partnerships with community organizations, including
the Brooklyn Community Pride Center and the LGBT Community Center in
Manhattan. Individuals will be screened to ensure they meet the
program’s eligibility criteria. Similarly, AFC’s care team will screen
and offer specialized support to youth who enroll in the program, as
participation is entirely voluntary.

Said Carl Siciliano, Executive Director of the Ali Forney Center: “With such
a terrible dearth of shelter beds available for the estimated 1800
homeless LGBT youth on the streets of New York each night, every bed is
of vital importance. I am incredibly grateful to the MacFarlane
Foundation for their generosity, which will allow loving adults to open
their homes to our youth, many of whom lack any kind of family support.”

Said Jessica MacFarlane of the MacFarlane Foundation: “The MacFarlane
Foundation is thrilled to contribute to the Ali Forney Center’s Host
Home Program. The Ali Forney Center is a leader in serving homeless
LGBTQ youth, and they set a standard for other organizations to aspire
to. This program will bridge the gap between the current housing offered
by the Ali Forney Center and young clients’ living independently. The
Foundation feels strongly about the importance of supporting the LGBTQ
community and is pleased to support the Ali Forney Center.”

The MacFarlane Foundation has issued its grant in order to help AFC pilot
the Host Home Program to determine the program’s viability. The pilot
will also allow AFC the opportunity to secure greater funding for the
continuation of the program. This is the second new program AFC will be
introducing in 2013. In the coming months AFC will expand the operation
of its Drop-In Center in Harlem to offer 24/7 programming, the first of
its kind in the nation for homeless LGBTQ youth.  

About the Ali Forney Center

The Ali Forney Center (AFC) was started in June of 2002 in response to the
lack of safe shelter for LGBT youth in New York City. The Center is
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. For more
information, see

About the Roger I. and Ruth B. MacFarlane Foundation

The Roger I. and Ruth B. MacFarlane Foundation makes catalytic
contributions to organizations, by enhancing the impact of existing
endeavors and leveraging organizations’ capacities to expand their
reach. The Foundation aims to improve the opportunities of individuals,
build strength within communities, and effect lasting change. The
MacFarlane Foundation is a family foundation whose funding reflects the
individual interests and passions of its Trustees.


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