NYC Launches First-of-Its-Kind Program to Help Homeless LGBTQ+ Youth Find Jobs

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04/20/2021

Although attacks on LGBTQ+ young people, especially trans children, persist across the nation, some hope materialized today for New York City’s homeless LGBTQ+ population. On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office and the citywide LGBTQ+ programming initiative NYC Unity Project announced a partnership with national LGBTQ+ homeless youth service provider the Ali Forney Center. Called NYC Unity Works, the initiative will be the country’s “largest and most comprehensive workforce development program ever created for LGBTQI communities and will specifically focus on supporting homeless and runaway LGBTQI youth,” according to a press release. The program — which launches July 1 — will work with clients for up to two years, with one additional follow-up year. This includes “two years of intensive direct services that include paid internships,” per Tuesday’s statement. According to the New York Times, the initial program will “connect 90 people between 16 and 24 years old with jobs or paid internships at businesses committed to fostering inclusive work environments.” Participants will be able to access a robust array of services, with staff designated for professional development, program staff for the provision of needs such as food and clothing, and mental health support staff.

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