WATCH: LGBT Youth Homeless for the Holidays
Each week between Thanksgiving and New Year, New York's Ali Forney Center is releasing a video slideshow and accompanying audio featuring the stories of homeless LGBT youths, compiled by Executive Director Carl Siciliano.
New York City has 3,800 homeless youth, almost half of whom are LGBT, according to the AFC. But the city only provides 250 shelter beds for youth, forcing most to survive alone on the streets.
"Statistics don't adequately express the horror of what these youths endure," writes Siciliano. "They don't express the suffering these kids go through; the psychological torment of being rejected, feeling unloved, alone and terrified, or the physical torment of the cold, exposure to the elements, hunger and chronic sleep deprivation."
The latest video features Derrick, a young man who fled his physically abusive family and found himself sleeping in Columbus Circle and Central Park, seeking temporary refuge in arcades, restaurants, and the Apple store.
"The worst thing about being homeless in a situation like this is knowing that you have a family, but that your family won't help you," Derrick says. Derrick is currently living at the Ali Forney Center's housing facility in Queens, New York.
See all four profiles thus far here and hear Derrick's story below.