New York City is home to the largest homeless gay youth population probably anywhere in the United States. The city; littered with young beautiful minds, often, marginalizes and tokenizes its own people eventually forgetting about them as a whole.
That’s where services come in. But, for those that may be homeless for the first time, they aren’t always called “homeless shelters ” or “services”. In the case of New York City, hum, they’re called drop-in centers.
To register for a bed or do an intake you must present yourself during the morning hours or the afternoon. This shelter is closed to overnight drop-in clients after 7pm every day. This shelter closes from 7pm until the next morning around 10am .
Located in Harlem off of W 125th and Saint Nicholas, this drop-in center, takes people up to the age of 25. Ali Forney provides counseling; therapy, food (breakfast; lunch, and dinner), warm showers, about 2 and 1/2 dozen beds for homeless youth, and many other things. While sometimes controversial, the center has hosted a bevy of celebrities who have brought love-and-joy to those in need. No literally, both Lady Gaga & Madonna have stopped by during the holidays.
While the center is currently on summer hours (they generally open at 10am most days now) this is a great start for gay youth looking for a fresh start on their own and an upper leg in one of the greatest cities in the U.S.
*You can often find some of our staff hanging around the Harlem area, if you’re scared or nervous, we will assist you in bringing you to the center*.
(This particular drop-in center also accepts women; pregnant women, and single moms. You are permitted to bring your child/baby here…)
Located literally off the block from Ali Forney, Streetworks, is like Forney’s long-lost sometimes glamorous sister that has better food; a semi-sweeter hangout spot, and actual television. As of July 1st, they’ve opened officially 6 days a week (sans Wednesdays, they’re never open on Wednesdays).
Streetworks also provides medical services (same as Forney); therapy, psych, housing services, emergency housing services (they have their own drop-in center), and more. During most days, Forney’s kids will travel down the block to Streetworks to watch T.V with their friends hang out and eat . Similar to Forney, Streetworks, accepts people up to the age of 25.
Now we will be the first to admit we don’t know much about this particular drop-in center, but, what we will say is that it is yet another one that can be utilized. Located in Jamaica/Queens, Safe Space offers similar services as the previous two (but we couldn’t confirm if they offer housing services).
Also very similar to the top three, Center Lane, is for folks who live a little further upwards towards the Yonkers area. Alternating days mean different things here (forgive us, we’re Manhattanites here) — but we’ve heard Center Lane is just as good as the others — and staff is super friendly also.