Alex Blaze

Queer youth funding cut in New York City

Filed By Alex Blaze | December 09, 2010 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Ali Forney Center, LGBT, LGBT homeless, LGBT youth, queer

NYC is cutting funding for homeless youth, which of course means that queer youth with be disproportionately affected. blogSpan.jpgI fail to see how these costs can't be absorbed by the federal government, as unemployment is at 10-17% (depending on how you count) and having working class people help impoverished people have a place to stay while they finish school and enter the workforce should be an absolute no-brainer. It would put money into the economy, develop the future's workforce, and reduce suffering all around.

In a city budget of more than $60 billion, the funds at issue are miniscule. The cuts announced total $969,407 in fiscal year 2011 and $700,000 in the subsequent year, according to the advocates.

Nearly 20 percent of that first year reduction -- $186,000 -- will be borne by the two city-funded groups that work specifically with LGBT homeless youth: the Ali Forney Center and the Bronx Community Pride Center. Both Ali Forney and the Bronx Center have drop-in centers that are City Council-funded projects, which are losing half of their money.

For the Bronx Center, that means a reduction in budget for its drop-in center from $86,000 to $43,000. According to Dirk McCall, the Center's executive director, its drop-in initiative was already reeling from the loss of a $425,000 three-year contract awarded to another Bronx social service agency at the time it was up for renewal.

Then again, I'm asking for a logical debate here, when the real issue is a power relationship. Not only do homeless queer youth not vote, no one would care about them if they did because they don't donate.

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Wasn't this the kind of thing that Conrad was complaining about almost a year ago? The obsessive push on marriage and I would add DADT are distracting GBLT groups from vigorously defending this kinda project?

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | December 9, 2010 6:56 PM

I think that's wrong. Cuts in social services for ourselves and others has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with the fight to defend same sex marriage in California or to prevent state DOMA's. To pretend that it does is an attempt to exonerate the real culprits here.

This is happening all over the country and the cuts effect everyone who works, or would like to work for a living. And yes, it's the fault of Democrats and their Republican cousins and those who support them.

Tens of trillions are needed to fund emergency health care form millions uninsured and underinsured, good housing, and for jobs paid at union rates to green the economy and rebuild a green infrastructure.

"State tax collections, adjusted for inflation, are now 12 percent below pre-recession (read Depression)levels." As of the 3rd quarter of 2010. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis of Rockefeller Institute, Census Bureau, and Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

The Democrats are allocating more hundreds of billions to kill and maim GIs and civilians in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. The Democrats are handing trillions to Wall Street and European banks, to the predatory lenders effected by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and to auto and insurance companies. More giveaways to the rich are built into their fake health care plan and their fake stimulus package. Recently released Commerce Department data show that of the $862 billion stimulus package, the change in government purchases at the federal level has, thus far, been extremely small. From the first quarter of 2009 through the third quarter of 2010, government purchases have increased by only 3% of the $862 billion ($24 billion). Infrastructure spending increased by an even smaller amount: $4 billion. In a $14 trillion economy, these amounts are immaterial. wsj Those funds, instead of creating jobs are creating profits for the rich.

The solution is not to criticize those who defended same sex marriage in 2008. Rather, it's to break from the Democrats and Republicans and fight for real recovery and massive funding for medical services, nutrition, housing and other social services.

DADT has always been a problem created by the Democrats and still is - they won't repeal it. Repeal is good because DADT creates violence agaisnt LGBT GIs, particularly women. Enlistment, for any reason, is bad if not outright demented.

Thanks for posting this, Alex. We're seeing this all over the country: the gay marriage movement sucking resources away from the issues like queer youth homelessness that are and should be of concern to the community. Here in Chicago, other activists and I have been summarily and quite directly been informed by gay elites that our projects, which often have to do with queer youth, will not be funded if we don't change our emphasis to marriage. And as Sam points out, Ryan Conrad's excellent piece on the Maine battle provides concrete evidence of the same:

The numbers speak for themselves.

People can also go to the Against Equality website and read more pieces like that by Amy Sueyoshi. Anyone who has spent time in or near the LGBT non-profit industrial complex knows the reality of what's happening.