Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Homeless Gay Kid Pleads With NY Gov. Cuomo: Please Don't Cut Our Funding

Last night I got a call from Ali Forney Center founder Carl Siciliano, who alerted me that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is planning to completely end state funding for homeless youth shelters. Carl forwards us the below letter from AFC resident Raciel Castillo, pictured at left.
Governor Cuomo, I understand that you intend to end the funding from New York State to support youth shelter beds. This means that on July 1st, many of us will be put out of our shelter beds and be thrown out to the streets. I want you to understand that this will put our lives at risk.

It is hard to be a homeless kid, having nowhere to stay and feeling alone and unwanted. For me the worst part was feeling hopeless. I know a bunch of homeless gay kids who have told me that they considered suicide. People think it is just because of bullying in schools, but it is also because of being rejected by our families and forced to make it on the streets. One of my friends tried to throw herself in front of a subway. She said she was tired of being invisible. Thank god some of my friends were able to hold her back.

Governor Cuomo, I want you to understand how terrible things are for homeless kids. I want you to understand how mean and reckless it is to cut support for kids out on the streets. I have lots of friends who have nowhere safe to sleep. I know some who have to prostitute themselves just to have a place to sleep. Kids get beat up and hurt on the streets. The Ali Forney Center is named after a kid who was murdered on the streets.
Too many of us were thrown out by parents who refuse to care about us. Please Governor Cuomo, don't throw us away also.
TAKE ACTION: Please consider adding your name to this letter urging Cuomo to maintain this funding. You need not be a New York resident to raise your voice, because so many of New York City's homeless kids flee here from other states. Carl Siciliano notes that this is a quite urgent situation, as portions of the state budget may be finalized this week.


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