Post originally published on Change.org
We wrote recently about runaway and “thrownaway” teens as a significant sub-population of the homeless. One of the most vulnerable groups within that population is LGBT youth. Many young people who come out to their parents, or who are “outed” against their will, are then forced from their homes. They are considered “thrownaway” by their parents, unwillingly forced to be homeless due to their parents disapproval of their lifestyle and sexual orientation. One more reason why runaway/thrownaway youth are more often a victim, not a problem child.
Well, now New York City is throwing them away, too. It’s proposing budget cuts that would reduce the funding to homeless shelters that focus on LGBT youth from $12 million per year to $6 million. These children who are already in danger of hate crimes and further abuse because of their sexual orientation are now left to fend for themselves on the streets. They are unable to return home — or if they do, they risk being subjected to further abuse and torment. These youth were rejected by their parents. Now they are being rejected by their city.
New York City has always been looked at as an inclusive and dynamic environment that encourages people to come as they are. It is a city that aims to foster its youth and to protect its most vulnerable citizens. This action by the city is a blatant disregard for the safety and respect of LGBTQ youth. Finances are tough all around, no doubt. But cutting budgets that provide assistance and support to some of the most fragile citizens will only breed further problems in the long run. New York City, make your cuts somewhere else; don’t throw away LGBTQ youth.
To read the post on Change.org, click here.