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  WINDY CITY TIMES

National Campaign for Youth Shelter launches
From a press release
2014-04-27

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New York, NY, April 28, 2014 — The National Coalition for the Homeless and the Ali Forney Center have joined together to launch the National Campaign for Youth Shelter, a collaboration that will build a grassroots campaign to demand a national response to youth homelessness.

The National Campaign for Youth Shelter calls include the following:

A federal commitment to provide all youths age 24 and under with immediate access to safe shelter, affirming the principle that no young person in the United States should be left homeless in the streets.

An immediate commitment to add 22,000 beds. ( This number corresponds to the number of youths identified in the most recent Point In Time Count of homeless persons conducted by the federal government ).

A more accurate and comprehensive effort to count the number of homeless youth in the nation in order to determine the number of beds that are needed over the next decade.

On June 2nd the National Campaign for Youth Shelter will hold a rally in New York City to launch the campaign as a priority within the LGBT movement. LGBT youth are disproportionately over-represented in the homeless youth population, with as many as 40% of the nation's homeless youth being LGBT, while only 5% of the overall youth population is LGBT.

A second rally will be held in Washington DC later in the year by a broader coalition of organizations also impacted by youth homelessness.

Currently, there are only approximately 4,000 youth shelter beds in the United States, yet as many as 500,000 unaccompanied youths experience homelessness each year.

"It's indefensible that our nation would abide hundreds of thousands of young people to be homeless and on their own," says Jerry Jones, executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless. "The National Campaign for Youth Shelter will highlight the urgency of basic emergency shelter as we work toward permanent solutions to this crisis."

"It is unprecedented to have so many LGBT organizations join together with prominent national housing and anti -poverty organizations to fight for the humane treatment of impoverished youths." says Carl Siciliano, executive director of the Ali Forney Center. "With all this support, the National Campaign for Youth Shelter will build a movement to finally prevent youths from being left to suffer homelessness without access to shelter. The wealthiest nation on earth must not allow its youths to be left out in the streets."

Over 30 organizations have endorsed of the National Campaign for Youth Shelter, including:

Ali Forney Center

Alliance for a Just Society

Campaign for America's Future

Campus Pride

Center for Community Change

Center for Popular Democracy

CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers

Coalition on Human Needs

Covenant House

Empire State Pride Agenda

Family Acceptance Project

Family Equality Council

Gay Men's Health Crisis

Garden State Equality

GLAAD

GLSEN

Hetrick Martin Institute

Housing Assistance Council

It Gets Better Project

Matthew Shepard Foundation

National AIDS Housing Coalition

National Black Justice Coalition

National Coalition for the Homeless

National Domestic Workers Alliance

National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty

National Health Care for the Homeless Council

National Low Income Housing Coalition

NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby

Partnership for Working Families

Rebuild the Dream

Ruth Ellis Center

Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund

Treatment Action Group

USAction

You Can Play Project

The National Coalition for the Homeless was founded in 1982 with the mission of ending homelessness. We strive to make sure the immediate needs of those experiencing destitution are met and their civil rights are protected.

The Ali Forney Center is the nation's largest organization dedicated to homeless LGBT youth, providing housing, supportive services to over 1,000 homeless LGBT youth per year and advocacy on their behalf.

About GLAAD: GLAAD amplifies the voice of the LGBT community by empowering real people to share their stories, holding the media accountable for the words and images they present, and helping grassroots organizations communicate effectively. By ensuring that the stories of LGBT people are heard through the media, GLAAD promotes understanding, increases acceptance, and advances equality. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.


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