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Carl Siciliano
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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

Helping Homeless LGBT Youth Find the Road to Home

(5) Comments | Posted June 19, 2014 | 6:13 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 | 6:00 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 | 6:44 PM

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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 | 9:38 AM

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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 | 2:20 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 | 9:45 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 | 3:49 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 | 11:35 AM

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 | 10:01 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 | 6:54 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 | 11:27 AM

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 | 2:25 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 | 3:44 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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A Call to Cardinal Dolan to Stop Endangering LGBT Youth

(315) Comments | Posted March 20, 2012 | 9:07 AM

Cardinal Dolan, I write to you as the director of the Ali Forney Center, the nation's largest organization dedicated to homeless LGBT youth. I am writing to you on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of LGBT youths who have been driven from their homes by parents unwilling or unable...

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Homeless for the Holidays: Portraits of New York City's Homeless LGBT Youth (PHOTOS)

(935) Comments | Posted December 19, 2011 | 11:32 PM

You weren't born to be abandoned
You weren't born to be forsaken
You were born to be loved
You were born to be loved

--Lucinda Williams

Over the past few weeks I have been meeting with homeless LGBT youth. Each young person was, at the time...

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Will the LGBT Community Protect Our Homeless Youth?

(19) Comments | Posted October 24, 2011 | 12:45 PM

LGBT youth are under attack in our country. As teens find the courage to come out of the closet at ever-younger ages, it is becoming clear that they are shouldering much of the burden of homophobia directed against the LGBT community. While there has recently been widespread recognition and response...

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Family Rejection of LGBT Youth Is No Joke

(143) Comments | Posted June 13, 2011 | 9:46 AM

Tracy Morgan is rightly facing a storm of criticism for a number of hostile statements he made against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in a recent comedy show in Nashville. Particularly alarming was his statement that, if his son were gay, he would stab him...

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Governor: Don't Turn Your Back on Homeless Gay Youth

(1) Comments | Posted April 4, 2011 | 6:43 PM

As someone whose job it is to protect homeless LGBT youth, I am terrified by the budget agreement that has been reached by Governor Andrew Cuomo and the leaders of the New York State Legislature.

Most profoundly, I am terrified for the lives of the teens who will be discarded...

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