Wednesday, April 26, 2017

"We need shelter now!" 40toNoneDay Rally to End LGBTQ Youth Homelessness. #40tononeday

"We need shelter now!" homeless advocates chanted at City Hall, as part of a rally to end LGBT homelessness. VOCAL organized the rally, situating the problem. 

"Housing for the 40%!  We won't stop till we have beds!"

 On this #40toNoneDay we are doing the work to ensure that New York City ends LGBTQ youth homelessness!

Represent 40% of youth experiencing homelessness.


-NYC must adopt the amendment of the NY Runaway Homeless - Youth Act to house young people until they are 25 years old
- Demand more housing for 21-24 year olds! 

When I arrived Carl Siciliano, of the Ali Forney center, was speaking.  He described the process of youth becoming homeless and the fear they live with as they spend more and more time on the street.  Its a  fear that grips at them.  Everyone deserves a place to stay.  We need shelter now, he concluded, leading the chant. 

"This is our last chance to get them before we they become chronically homeless.  We can't let that happen," noted Kate Barnhart, the director of New Alternatives for LGBT Youth.  "There's a lot of trauma out there.  We have to have safe places."

Kate Barnart above and
Jawanza James Williams, of VOCAL and Queerocracy, below. 
"Denying people food and shelter when it is so easily available is structural violence," explained Amber, situating the struggle over housing historically. "Its safer to live in the subway than the shelter.  The city is literally punishing homelessness!"
"One lLGBT homeless person is too much. I think the 40 percent number is too low. it's much higher. but even if that is the number, it is an epidemic," explained Jewel!
As she was speaking one of the youth behind her passed out. Andrew Velez, of ACT UP, pointed out that this is part of the everyday struggle here.  The mayor has two homes.  He could use one of them to house LGBT youth. This problem has gone on too long, Velez continued!

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