Published On: June 15, 20231.8 min read362 words

By Carl Siciliano, Founder/Senior Director of Technical Assistance of the Ali Forney Center and designated “Champion of Change” by the Obama White House for his work on behalf of homeless LGBTQ youth.

In 2002, when I founded the Ali Forney Center, I could count the programs offering dedicated housing to LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness on the fingers of one hand. Now more than twenty years later the Ali Forney Center is offering technical assistance and support to over 50 organizations across the country and around the globe who are providing, or planning to provide such care. 

As the Ali Forney Center grew into the largest, most comprehensive LGBTQ+ youth homelessness provider in the USA, organizations began to reach out to us for assistance with planning and implementing similar programs. For the past three years, I have been overseeing, in partnership with Nadia Swanson, our efforts to offer such support.

We can provide consultation, at no cost, to groups and individuals seeking to create or expand services for LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness. We have assisted such groups with program design, growth strategies, board development, fundraising, media strategies, and best practices in the operation of housing programs and drop-in sites. We can offer staff trainings in any area of program operation and clinical care. We also offer assistance in designing and implementing programs to respond to the special needs of youth who identify as Transgender or gender nonconforming (TGNC).

We have assisted several communities in their planning to respond to the needs of LGBTQ+ youths in their HUD Youth Homeless Demonstration Program applications. We also assist non-LGBTQ+ specific providers in implementing policies to make their programs safer for LGBTQ+ youths.

In addition to our consultation services, we also host monthly meetings for LGBTQ+ youth providers and a support group for the Executive Directors/CEO’s of such organizations. These are forums for trainings, information sharing, and community-building among the LGBTQ+ youth homelessness provider community. Furthermore, we host an annual technical assistance conference for our national and international partner organizations.

For more information about the technical assistance services offered by the Ali Forney Center, or to connect with us, please visit