Mayor Bloomberg’s administration submitted a budget in early May which would have cut RHYS funding by $7 million dollars and eliminated 160 of the 250 existing youth shelter beds serving over 3,800 homeless youth. The City Council voted to retain the level of funding in place last year essentially restoring the 7 million dollars the Mayors budget had cut.
We applaud the City Council for restoring the 7 million dollars to the RHYS budget and avoiding the catastrophic results that would have followed such a cut. While we are relieved that there will be no less funds, we are disappointed that no progress has been made to provide a safe shelter for this large and growing population of young people. In 2011 alone the waiting lists at youth shelters has gone up by 40%.
In June of 2010, the Bloomberg Administration released a report on homeless LGBT youth which recognized that LGBT youth without shelter faced significant risk of violent assault, HIV infection and suicide. The report called for the creation of 100 additional shelter beds for LGBT youth.
Shelter of Peace as part of the Campaign for Youth Shelter calls on New York City and New York State to add an additional $3 million dollars in annual funding each year until there is a bed in a safe shelter for every youth who needs one.