Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

I Heart The Ali Forney Center for Homeless Youth

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | October 15, 2010 12:00 PM | comments

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Last night I drove into NYC from my aerie in the countryside, in the midst of a nor'easter (it wasn't that bad), to meet with Bill Torres, the Director of Community Resources at the Ali Forney Center for homeless LGBT youth in NYC.

I've signed up for a year-long gig doing "life coaching" for some of the youth at the Center. Ah me, I need to read that book about women who do too much. But how could I not? It seems to be so perfect for me, and it's the kind of thing I love to do, and I love kids, and anyway, it's just once a week.

There's a two month training period with social workers and other professionals, so I can't interact with kids until they know I'm ready. I have been impressed at every step so far with how well organized and intelligent and on-the-ball everything is. That's a rare thing in this world.

So I'm off Monday night to my first training session. I'll let you know how it goes. By the way, you don't need to sign up for a year to volunteer with the Ali Forney Center. You can volunteer for an evening, a holiday party, once a month, or whatever. These children are our future. If you want to learn more, Bill can be reached at btorres@aliforneycenter.org. You can donate here.

More about the Ali Forney Center after the jump.

My first experience with the Ali Forney Center was magical. The first thing that Bill said to us was "You're all family now." He got me at "hello," as they say.

And to think that this whole amazing thing almost winked out of existence a couple of years ago. It was saved by the intervention of the Episcopal Church, thank goodness.

I honestly don't understand why $700B for Wall Street, but $600K is too much for homeless queers is acceptable. Our priorities are all wrong.

Thinking of Ali Forney, after whom the Ali Forney Center was named, I see in my mind's eye a young person who needed love and got instead a childhood of hell. "Hell is for children," isn't that how the Pat Benatar song goes?

And we have hundreds of thousands of LGBT kids facing homelessness -- each year.

Whatever I can do is little enough, but it's not by individual effort that a dent can be made in these social problems.


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After reading of your car being a decade old or more this last summer in one of your posts, I just hope it is up for this as much as you seem to be. ;)

I baby my car, and I hope that it will be around for a long, long time.

Jillian thanks for your eforts to coach and mentor. I help in anyway that I can through donations on the meager Government wage that I make. I am calling out to any Federal employees right now to make sure to contribute to the Combined Federal Campaign and to help out our LGBT charities when now is the time that they can use our help. I did not know myself what the Trevor Project was until the rash of suicides we have had in our Community. That made me to contribute to their cause and also LGBT Community Centers..Centerlink. There are other LGBT organizations listed in the Combined Federal Campaign for Federal Employees. This is the only time in the Workplace that we can give to charities and it is convenient through payroll deductions. For any other LGBT Federal employees please consider in giving to some of these worthwhile causes. And Jillian thanks for your hard and unselfish work.

Yes, we must give our pennies and our dollars. There are 15 million or so of us - even $1 would make a huge difference, if we all did it.