Carl Siciliano, founder and Executive Director of the Ali Forney Center, the nation’s largest shelter serving the needs of runaway and homeless LGBTQ youth, has been named as a “Champion of Change in the Fight Against Youth Homelessness” and will attend an event on July 12th at the White House with other leaders in the battle against youth homelessness. Carl also attended the White House LBGT Conference on Housing and Homelessness convened on March 9th in Detroit, and was one of the speakers at the Shelter of Peace First Annual Conference held on May 29th.
As quoted by Cathy Renna in a press release earlier today, Carl said: “It is thrilling that as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Ali Forney Center, we are also being recognized by the White House for our pioneering work on behalf of homeless LGBT youth. When we opened the Ali Forney Center, the challenges we faced were daunting; there was very little awareness of the plight of homeless LGBT youth, especially on the federal level, and it was difficult to obtain support for our work. I am very grateful to President Obama for recognizing the needs of homeless LGBT youth and incorporating their care into his vision of ending youth homelessness. I am also grateful to the White House for recognizing the quality, innovation, and importance of the Ali Forney Center, which is a testament to all of the individuals who have served on the board, staff and as volunteers.”
It is extremely gratifying to see Carl receive this acknowledgement for his decade of tireless efforts on behalf of homeless LGBT youth, but further to see that youth homelessness, and LGBT youth homelessness in particular, is gaining the attention of President Obama and the federal government. Although our work is far from done, we are making tremendous progress! We thank all our Shelter of Peace members for their continued support and hard work; together we are making a difference for our homeless youth!