No young person should be left homeless on the streets.
LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness have few options for shelter in New York City. Once you turn 21, you are no longer eligible for youth shelter within the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) continuum and must utilize shelter for adults through the Department of Homeless Services (DHS). For many LGBTQ youth, this is not a safe option. In 2017, Governor Cuomo signed an amendment of the Runaway Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) so that communities within the state of New York could opt in to housing 21-24 year olds in youth shelter programs. As of today, New York City has not committed to adopting this amendment.
The Campaign For Youth Shelter (CFYS) was started in 2011 in response to the inadequate and unsafe shelter options available to LGBTQ young people in New York. The movement of LGBTQ advocacy had so largely been focused around marriage equality, we wanted to use our political power and voice to represent the young people whose needs were being left behind. LGBTQ youths continue to face homelessness at disproportionate rates. CFYS focuses on city and state advocacy, and has focused on the inadequate supply of shelter options for LGBTQ youths and the needs of 21 to 24-year-olds who are not served by the youth shelter system beyond drop-in-centers.