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Carl Siciliano
Carl Siciliano is a nationally recognized advocate and provider for homeless LGBT youth who has been dedicated to this population since 1994. His programs have been widely recognized for their quality and innovation.

From 1983 through 1988, Siciliano worked with the Catholic Worker Movement, where he assisted in the management of shelters, soup kitchens and residential programs for the homeless in New York City, Washington D.C. and Norwalk, Conn. From 1988 through 1994, he helped the Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter operate a residential program for homeless adults in New York City.

From 1994 to 2001, Siciliano worked as the Director of Homeless Youth Services for Safe Space NYC Inc. During that time, he created an innovative continuum of services for homeless teens, including a 24-hour drop-in center, a citywide street outreach program, a scattered site emergency housing program, and a residential program for HIV-positive teens. The federal government officially designated Siciliano’s program a "Special Project of National Significance."

In 2002, Siciliano founded the Ali Forney Center (AFC), which has grown to become the nation’s largest and most comprehensive housing program for homeless LGBT youth. The Ali Forney Center offers emergency housing, transitional housing, a drop-in center, a vocational/educational center and a mix of supportive services that help LGBT youth become successful, independent adults. AFC has been recognized for its exceptional work by various organizations including Gay Men’s Health Crisis (Humanitarian Award, 2004), the Anti Violence Project (Courage Award, 2006), the Empire State Pride Agenda (Community Service Award, 2006) and the Brooklyn Lambda Independent Democrats (LID Award, 2007).

Siciliano's work has also received extensive coverage in local and national print and broadcast media. In 2002, he was named by OUT Magazine as one of the 100 Outstanding Gay Achievers. His work has also been recognized by the Stonewall Democrats of NYC in 2006, and in 2007 he was awarded the Brooke Astor Service Award, which is given to someone who is relentless in his or her dedication to the city of New York and who has contributed substantially to its enrichment.

Today Siciliano continues to fight for the rights and empowerment of homeless LGBT youth through the growth and outreach of the Ali Forney Center.

Entries by Carl Siciliano

Harlem No Hate: Reasons Why Ali Forney Center Is Seeking to Acquire Site of ATLAH Hate Church

(0) Comments | Posted February 9, 2016 | 7:22 PM

A week and a half ago something remarkable happened. It was announced that the ATLAH church, home of Rev. James David Manning, one of the nation's most strident anti-LGBT bigots, had been foreclosed and was being put up for auction on February 24th. The members of the local...

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Homeless for the Holidays

(0) Comments | Posted December 29, 2015 | 4:06 PM

By Carl Siciliano and Youths of the Ali Forney Center
Photos by Ocean Morisset

Family Rejection. Homelessness. These words, which describe phenomena that so disproportionately devastate the lives of LGBT youths, come across as grossly inadequate as I attempt to describe what I see every day at the Ali...

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종교적 동성애 혐오가 아동 학대를 부추긴다

(0) Comments | Posted October 1, 2015 | 2:52 PM

*이 글은 '알리 포니 센터'의 대표 칼 시실리아노의 블로그입니다.

나는 동성애가 죄라는 믿음을 퍼뜨리는 종교 지도자들이 홈리스 LGBT 청소년에게 거처를 제공하고 돌봐주는 미국 최대 단체인 알리 포니 센터에서 하루 동안 지내보면 좋겠다는 생각을 자주 한다. 우리 청소년들을 만나고, 그들의 상처 받은 눈을 들여다 보고, 아직 어린 그들의 삶이...

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See How Religious Homophobia Promotes Child Abuse

(0) Comments | Posted September 21, 2015 | 12:07 AM

I have often wished that religious leaders who promote the belief that homosexuality is a sin could spend a day at the Ali Forney Center, the nation's largest organization providing housing and care to homeless LGBT youths. Meeting our youths, looking into their hurt eyes, hearing how their...

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How Bea Arthur Became a Champion for Homeless LGBT Youth

(0) Comments | Posted July 21, 2015 | 6:27 PM

It seemed like a miracle to me when Bea Arthur became dedicated to the Ali Forney Center.

It was 2005, 3 years after we first began offering shelter to homeless LGBT youths. We were a small organization, tiny in comparison to so many of the huge, well-established charities in NYC....

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Open Letter to Pope Francis: Religious Homophobia Causes Epidemic of Homeless LGBT Youth

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2015 | 6:50 PM

Your Holiness,

Last year on Palm Sunday I wrote an open letter to you in the New York Times to implore you to bring an end to the Church teaching that homosexuality is a sin. I invited you to visit the Ali Forney Center, the...

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In Memory of Danny Garvin, One of the Heroic Homeless LGBT Youths Who Fought in the Stonewall Uprising (PHOTOS)

(0) Comments | Posted December 19, 2014 | 7:48 PM

A true hero of our LGBT movement died last week when Danny Garvin passed away after a struggle with hepatitis and cancer.

Danny helped give birth to our liberation when he fought in the Stonewall uprising. He was there that first night and several nights after, fighting in the streets,...

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Helping Homeless LGBT Youth Find the Road to Home

(0) Comments | Posted June 19, 2014 | 7:13 PM

Youth homelessness in our nation is an epidemic. And the meager response to it is a national disgrace.

There are as many as 500,000 unaccompanied homeless youth in our country -- totally on their own, without their families. Almost half are LGBT, because so many families reject their LGBT...

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Uma súplica ao papa Francisco em nome da juventude LGBT

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2014 | 7:00 AM

Vossa Santidade,

Escrevo a Vossa Santidade como católico, ex-monge beneditino e homem gay que passou 30 anos servindo aos sem-teto, primeiro como integrante do Movimento do Trabalhador Católico e agora como fundador e diretor executivo do Centro Ali Forney, o maior centro americano para jovens sem-teto lésbicas, gays, bissexuais e...

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A Plea to Pope Francis on Behalf of LGBT Youth

(31) Comments | Posted April 13, 2014 | 7:44 PM


Your Holiness,

I write to you as a Roman Catholic, a former Benedictine monk and as a gay man who has spent over 30 years serving the homeless, first as a member of the Catholic Worker Movement, and now as the...

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Homeless for the Holidays: Ending a Nation's Cruel Indifference to Homeless Youth (PHOTOS)

(29) Comments | Posted December 21, 2013 | 10:38 AM


At the first Christmas the infant Jesus was homeless. There was no room for him at the inn. And this Christmas hundreds of thousands of teens across our country are homeless. There is no room for them at the shelters. Today I ask...

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HIV Prevention and Homeless Youth: Fixing a Catastrophic Failure

(4) Comments | Posted July 31, 2013 | 3:20 PM

One of the hardest tasks at the Ali Forney Center is telling one of our youths that they have tested positive for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Having already been dealt the cruel blows of family rejection and homelessness, our youths struggle daily with despair. When they find out that...

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From The Street to the Courtroom: The First Ali Forney Center Resident Graduates Law School

(12) Comments | Posted June 3, 2013 | 10:45 AM

Last weekend I found myself in a gym in Portland, Oregon with tears streaming down my face. I was at Lewis & Clark Law School, at the graduation ceremony of Ksen Pallegedara, one of the first young people ever to stay at the Ali Forney Center. As I saw Ksen...

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Christianity and the Parental Rejection of LGBT Youth

(234) Comments | Posted March 28, 2013 | 4:49 PM

As millions celebrate Easter, I need to ask my fellow Christians to wake up to the terrible fact that far too many LGBT youth are being abused and rejected in Christian homes.

Many conservative Christians are increasingly preoccupied with fighting against the equal treatment of LGBT people...

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Mayor Bloomberg, Homeless Denier

(20) Comments | Posted February 22, 2013 | 12:35 PM

There is reality, and then there are people who deny reality, especially the parts of reality that are painful or horrifying.

We have climate change deniers, those who refuse to accept the overwhelming scientific evidence for human-driven climate change. And there is a small fringe group that denies that the...

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Homeless for the Holidays: Witnessing the Lives of Homeless LGBT Youth

(69) Comments | Posted December 21, 2012 | 11:01 PM

This is among the most terrible expressions of homophobia in our time.

As LGBT youth come out at younger ages, thousands are driven from their homes by rejecting families. And in a society that has grown increasingly unwilling to support a safety net for the most vulnerable, they are forced...

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Denied Shelter Beds, Many of NYC's Homeless Youth Turn to Prostitution

(44) Comments | Posted October 9, 2012 | 7:54 PM

New York City's homeless youth are frequently faced with no option but to prostitute themselves in order to survive. That's why we call it "survival sex." And Mayor Bloomberg, despite promoting anti-prostitution efforts, perpetuates this situation by failing to provide nearly enough shelter beds for homeless youth.

Last winter I...

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Reflections on a Decade of Protecting Homeless LGBT Youth: Mending the Hole in the Soul of Our Movement for Equality

(7) Comments | Posted June 19, 2012 | 12:27 PM

When the Ali Forney Center first opened its doors 10 years ago today, there was simply no safe shelter for homeless LGBT kids in New York City. The only existing youth shelter was run by the Catholic Church, and LGBT kids who sought shelter there were routinely mistreated and gay-bashed....

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Bloomberg Plans to Throw Homeless Youths Out of Their Shelter Beds

(73) Comments | Posted May 4, 2012 | 3:25 PM

At the Ali Forney Center we are confronted every day with kids who have been thrown out of their homes by homophobic parents. The kids are devastated to have been cast out like trash and terrified of what will happen to them. Because New York City only provides 250 youth...

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Cardinal Dolan Responds to My Open Letter

(423) Comments | Posted April 2, 2012 | 4:44 PM

Recently I published an open letter to Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, calling his attention to the epidemic numbers of LGBT youth being rejected by their parents and forced into homelessness. I pointed out that studies indicate that religious parents are significantly more likely to reject...

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