The Ali Forney Center’s mission is to protect LGBTQ youths from the harms of homelessness and empower them with the tools needed to live independently.
The Organization’s namesake, Ali Forney, was a gender-nonconforming teen who fled his home at 13. He entered the foster care system where he was bounced around to several homes, and was beaten and abused. Ali ended up living on the streets at the age of 15. Ali was dedicated to helping other young people and publicly advocated for the safety of homeless LGBT youth. Tragically, in December of 1997, Ali was murdered in Harlem—shot in the head and left for dead.
Committed to saving the lives of LGBTQ young people, in 2002 Carl Siciliano founded the Ali Forney Center (AFC) in memory of Ali. Since AFC’s launch with just six beds in a church basement, the organization has grown to become the largest agency dedicated to LGBTQ homeless youths in the country—assisting nearly 1,400 youths per year through a 24-hour Drop-In Center which provides over 70,000 meals annually, medical and mental health services through an on-site clinic, and a scattered site housing program.
AFC has been heralded for our full continuum of care approach to services for LGBTQ homeless youth. AFC’s founder, Carl Siciliano, was named a White House Champion of Change by President Obama citing the wide recognition AFC’s programs have received for their quality and innovation.