There's a crisis in New York State at the moment, with Governor Andrew Cuomo potentially set to approve funding cuts that would eliminate all financial support for youth shelter beds in the state budget. The consequences of this action -- for homeless teenagers and young adults at large in the state, but particularly for kids who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender -- could be catastrophic.
As the Ali Forney Center notes in an urgent appeal, each night there are upwards of 1,000 LGBT kids and young adults left homeless on the streets of New York City without a shelter bed. Under the proposed cuts put forward by Gov. Cuomo's administration, the availability of shelter beds for this population will drastically decrease even further, cutting the number of available shelter beds by practically one-third.
This move could have a devastating impact on homeless children and young folks. Statistics show that homeless youth, if left on the streets, are at higher risk for drug use, suicide, depression, and public health concerns like HIV/AIDS. Is Gov. Cuomo prepared to live with these consequences?
Send the Cuomo administration an urgent message that cutting youth shelter beds is the wrong way to deal with a state budget crisis, and will only exacerbate an already epic problem of homelessness among young adult populations in New York. Throwing kids back on the streets during a time of need is no way to solve a budget problem -- financially or morally.
Each night, thousands of homeless youth are on the streets of New York City, without enough shelter beds to serve the population. Cutting this funding will remove even more shelter beds, and result in even more homeless kids on the streets, where they are at an increased risk of harm including drug use, violence, suicide and depression, and public health concerns like HIV/AIDS.
This move could be particularly catastrophic for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth. We know from estimates that there are at least 1,000 LGBT youth on the streets of New York in any given night, without nearly enough resources and shelter beds to serve this population. Cutting funding further from organizations that work with LGBT youth will have dire consequences.
Please don't throw these kids back onto the streets because of budget cuts. In the long run cutting funding from work to curb youth homelessness is a financially silly move, not to mention an idea that is morally bankrupt. These kids deserve full support from your administration, not budget cuts that will throw them back on the streets and expose them to serious harm.
Thank you for your time.