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CCC, Council Members, Providers and Advocates Rally for Runaway and Homeless Youth Services

CCC, Council Members, Providers and Advocates Rally for Runaway and Homeless Youth Services

Yesterday, CCC stood on the steps of City Hall with New York City Council Youth Services Chair Fidler, Council Member Brewer, Council Member Jackson, and over 100 providers, advocates and youth to make our voices heard in the fight against cuts to Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) Services.

The Mayor’s Budget proposes to cut over half of the funding for RHY! This is despite the fact that there are approximately 3,800 homeless youth in New York City, but the City only funds about 250 shelter beds for them. Even though more beds and services are needed, this year’s City budget proposes cutting $7.2 million of the $12.6 of funding for RHY services. This would eliminate close to 160 shelter beds!

Council Member Fidler has been a staunch proponent of RHY services, working to restore them year after year when the Mayor proposed to cut them. At the press conference, he and all the speakers called on the City to restore the $7.2 million in proposed cuts, baseline the funding so it is permanently in the City budget, and increase total funding for runaway and homeless youth services by $1.5 million. In addition to the Council Members, speakers included six young people who have experienced homelessness, and a number of service providers, including Good Shepherd Services, Safe Horizon, and Covenant House.

Speaker after speaker emphasized the importance of providing a safe place for young New Yorkers to sleep at night. In addition to providing a roof over the heads of extremely vulnerable young people, runaway and homeless youth services connect youth to caring adults, counseling, and other needed services, such as jobs and internships.

Unfortunately, there are not enough runaway and homeless youth shelter beds to meet the need. Today, youth shelters report having to turn away hundreds of youth each month due to a lack of beds. If funding is cut, this problem will only get worse, leaving even more young New Yorkers left out on the streets.

You can read the press release here.

YOU can also help runaway and homeless youth by taking one minute and sending letters to the Mayor and the City Council urging them to restore, baseline, and increase funding for Runaway and Homeless Youth Services.

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