FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 10, 2010
MAYOR BLOOMBERG RECEIVES FINAL REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE CITY’S COMMISSION OF LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER AND QUESTIONING RUNAWAY AND HOMELESS YOUTH
Mayor Directs City Agencies to Begin Implementing Strategies
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today received the final report of recommendations from the City’s Commission for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) Runaway and Homeless Youth. The Commission, which began its work in October 2009, was charged with developing strategies to address the unique needs of LGBTQ youth. Many of the strategies outlined in the report can be undertaken immediately, and the Mayor has directed the City’s Department of Youth and Community Development to raise the age limit from 21 to 24 in its drop-in centers. The Mayor also directed the agency to reach out to New York State regarding regulatory changes that would require other runaway and homeless youth residential programs to serve the expanded age range.
“New York City is determined to keep providing the support and the care that too many of our young people cannot find in their own families and homes,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “We will begin work on many of the strategies outlined in the report immediately, so we can give these young adults a chance to pursue all that this great city has to offer. The more support and resources we can offer, the brighter their futures become.”
Research suggests that more than 20 percent of homeless youth in the United States are LGBTQ; often because they feel rejected by their families. To help combat this issue in New York City, the Mayor will direct all City-funded runaway and homeless youth programs to actively focus on family acceptance and involve families and community members in efforts to prevent homelessness. Program providers will receive training this summer on strategies to engage family members and other supportive adults.
“On behalf of all New Yorkers, I thank the Commission Members for providing us with a coordinated agenda for meeting the diverse needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning young people – who are disproportionately represented among runaway and homeless youth,” said Deputy Mayor Walcott. “As a result of their hard work, New York City remains far ahead of the curve in terms of ensuring that all of its citizens have the support they need to express their identity in a safe environment.”
“The completion of the Commission’s report represents a tremendous step forward for LGBTQ youth, their families, and advocates,” said Commission Chair Ana Oliveira. “It has been an honor to work with such a diverse group of practitioners, thought leaders, community advocates and young people, but our work is far from done. Every member of the Commission has committed to implementing various strategies from the report, and together we will fulfill our mission of ensuring that no young person will ever be compelled to spend a night on the street.”
“This report provides New York City with a blueprint for becoming the first community in the nation to comprehensively address the unique challenges facing runaway and homeless LGBTQ youth,” said Commissioner Mullgrav. “While our Drop-in Centers and Crisis Shelters, Transitional Independent Living programs, and Street Outreach and Referral Services are already sensitive to issues facing LGBTQ youth, starting today we are launching a coordinated effort that represents a paradigm shift, to ensure that staff at our programs focus more intensively on family engagement and acceptance to prevent or shorten the duration of homelessness among LGBTQ youth. DYCD hopes to be a model for other youth-serving organizations seeking solutions to the unique challenges facing LGBTQ runaway and homeless youth.”
The Commission’s recommendations outline a series of strategies designed to prevent homelessness among LGBTQ youth and young adults, and improve the effectiveness of services delivered to them. The majority of recommendations will be implemented within the next year, while those that require additional funding will be rolled-out as private funds are identified. The recommendations are as follows:
The full report, which includes detailed strategies for implementing the recommendations, is available at www.nyc.gov or by calling 311.
Chair - Ana L. Oliveira, President and Chief Executive Officer, The New York Women’s Foundation
Director - Jeanne B. Mullgrav, Commissioner, Department of Youth and Community Development
Stu Loeser/Jessica Scaperotti (Mayor) (212) 788-2958
Cathleen Collins (Youth and Community Development)
Read the report