This afternoon Melissa joined nearly a dozen other council members, and over 100 young people and advocates on the steps of City Hall to voice opposition to a proposed cut in funding for shelter bed services for runaway and homeless youth, many of whom are members of the LGBT community.
On November 26th, the Bloomberg Administration, via the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, informed grantees across the city that Runaway and Homeless Youth Services expenditures would be cut by nearly $1 million in the current fiscal year and by another $700,000 in the upcoming year.
According to statements issued by Council Member Lew Fidler and the Ali Forney Center, there is an average of 3,800 homeless children in New York City without their families on our streets every night and a dearth of available shelter beds for them. Cuts would only serve to worsen an already bleak situation.
Adding remarks to the litany of speakers, Melissa, who is a member of the Council’s Youth Services Committee, offered her utter disdain for the budget cuts which will result in more homeless youth on our streets. Speakers called upon the Bloomberg administration to rescind the proposed cuts. If these cuts are enacted, organizations will have to cut services beginning January 1, 2011. The press conference culminated with Melissa and the other participants lying down on the steps of City Hall to symbolize the impact these proposed cuts will have on homeless youth in our city.