MIDTOWN — A group of activists have a question for Governor Cuomo: "Where do queer homeless kids go on [Christmas]?"
Carrying lettered signs, the advocates — trying to raise awareness about the shortage of beds for homeless youth in the city — plan to take over the pedestrian cameras in Times Square Saturday evening, asking passersby to call Cuomo's office number.
The message will be broadcast on a huge screen high above above the Crossroads of the World beginning at 6 p.m.
The hope is that passersby will see the message, call the number and urge the governor to allocate more money for homeless services in the budget, said Jake Goodman, a founding member of Queer Rising, the group behind the event.
“It’s unlike other issues that some people see as being more political. Who would argue that any youth should be thrown out on the street and be forced into situations where many of them turn to prostitution?” Goodman said. “Nobody wants that.”
In all of New York City, there are only 200 beds are set aside for the roughly 3,800 homeless youths, of which about 40 percent identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, according to Carl Siciliano, the executive director of the Ali Forney Center, an advocacy organization that also houses a youth shelter.
Saturday's event is part of an ongoing series of protests battling the shortage of beds for homeless youths in New York City. The overall goal, advocates said, is to secure a total of $3 million from the state and city to fund the creation of an additional 100 beds for homeless youths.
The activists want that $3 million to become an annual allotment until there are enough shelter beds in the city to fit the need.
The event will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at 1560 Broadway between 45th and 46th streets.