Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Politicians, activists blast proposed cuts to NYC’s homeless youth programs

More than half a dozen New York City Councilmembers joined activists and young people on the steps of City Hall on Tuesday, Dec. 21, to blast Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed cuts to programs that support homeless youth in the five boroughs.

City Councilmembers Lew Fidler [D-Brooklyn], Daniel Dromm [D-Queens], Letitia James [D-Brooklyn] and Jimmy Van Bramer [D-Queens] joined Carl Siciliano of the Ali Forney Center, Dirk McCall of the Bronx Community Pride Center and others in lower Manhattan.

“The city knows, the Bloomberg administration knows that every night 3,800 young people are sleeping homeless on our streets—they know this because they released it in their own report,” stressed Siciliano. “The city knows, the Bloomberg administration knows that hundreds of kids have to survive by prostituting every night—they know because they released it in their own report this past June.”

Siciliano, whose organization offers housing and other support services to homeless LGBT youth, said Ali Forney’s clients are disproportionately at-risk for violence, HIV/AIDS and even suicide.

“The Bloomberg administration knows these kids are suffering, and yet they still decided to make these cuts,” he added. “I don’t know to describe this except to say that it shows a reckless indifference to the welfare of children.”

The temperature was in the mid-30s, and the wind chill was in the low-20s during the protest.

City Councilmember Lew Fidler [D-Brooklyn]

City Councilmember Daniel Dromm [D-Queens]

These activists sent Mayor Michael Bloomberg a strong message.

Nathaniel Vanderhorst was among the young people who protested the proposed cuts.

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