Original Air Date: July 23, 2012
Carl Siciliano, Executive Director of the Ali Forney Center, is a nationally recognized advocate and provider for homeless LGBT youth who has been dedicated to this population since 1994. His programs have been widely recognized for their quality and innovation.
From 1983 through 1988, Siciliano worked with the Catholic Worker Movement, where he assisted in the management of shelters, soup kitchens and residential programs for the homeless in New York City, Washington D.C. and Norwalk, CT. From 1988 through 1994, he helped the Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter operate a residential program for homeless adults in New York City.
From 1994 to 2001, Siciliano worked as the Director of Homeless Youth Services for Safe Space NYC Inc. During that time, he created an innovative continuum of services for homeless teens including: a 24 hour drop-in center, a citywide street outreach program, a scattered site emergency housing program, and a residential program for HIV+ teens. The federal government officially designated Siciliano’s program a “Special Project of National Significance.”
In 2002, Siciliano founded the Ali Forney Center (AFC), which has grown to become the nation’s largest and most comprehensive housing program for homeless LGBT youth. The Ali Forney Center offers emergency housing, transitional housing, a drop-in center, a vocational/educational center and a mix of supportive services that help LGBT youth become successful, independent adults. AFC has been recognized for its exceptional work by various organizations including Gay Men’s Health Crisis (Humanitarian Award; 2004), the Anti Violence Project (Courage Award; 2006), the Empire State Pride Agenda (Community Service Award; 2006) and the Brooklyn Lambda Independent Democrats (LID Award; 2007).
Siciliano’s work has also received extensive coverage in local and national print and broadcast media. In 2002, he was named by OUT Magazine as one of the 100 Outstanding Gay Achievers. His work has also been recognized by the Stonewall Democrats of NYC in 2006, and in 2007 he was awarded the Brooke Astor Service Award which is given to someone who is relentless in his or her dedication to the city of New York and who has contributed substantially to its enrichment.
Today Siciliano continues to fight for the rights and empowerment of homeless LGBT youth through the growth and outreach of the Ali Forney Center.