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GEN21 Clothing Drive

Ryan Esdale

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This snowy winter season, Ramsey High School’s GEN21 (“Gender-Equality-Now”) Club helped keep the young adults and children of the Ali Forney Homeless Shelter warm by organizing a clothing drive that lasted from December to mid-January.

The Ali Forney Center’s (AFC) mission is to “protect LGBTQ youths from the harms of homelessness and empower them with the tools needed to live independently.” The AFC was founded in West Midtown, Manhattan in 2002 in the wake of the tragic murder of Ali Forney. Forney was a homeless gender-nonconforming youth who was forced into homelessness at age 13. He was a fierce advocate for widespread HIV prevention and was 22 when he was murdered on the streets of New York City in December of 1997. Ali’s murder has “never been brought to justice.”

The AFC’s mission is especially important because transgender and nonbinary youth are disproportionately affected by the housing crisis and homelessness in New York City and other urban communities across the United States. When GEN21 learned of the center’s mission to honor Forney’s legacy by providing educational, mental health, and medical services as well as food, water, clothing, and shelter to young people, club members were eager to get involved. They successfully recruited RHS staff and students to contribute several hundred pounds of jackets, shoes, pants, business attire and more for their LGBTQ allies.

For more information about the Ali Forney Center, and to learn about ways you can get involved, visit https://www.aliforneycenter.org.

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GEN21 Clothing Drive