GREENWICH VILLAGE — The 2015 New York State Budget now has $4.5 million in funding for homeless youth shelters, the first significant increase in seven years — thanks to Miley Cyrus.
State Sen. Brad Hoylman said credit for convincing Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos to include the funding belongs to the "Wrecking Ball" singer.
"I want to thank Miley Cyrus for her advocacy in helping raise awareness through our #5000TooMany social media campaign," Hoylman said in a statement. "Miley’s advocacy on behalf of homeless kids made a difference and is a perfect example how star power can be used to help others."
Hoylman took up the cause earlier this year after learning that funding for homeless youth had been cut by 66 percent since 2008. The number of homeless young people getting turned away from shelters had spiked from more than 500 in 2008 to more than 5,000 in 2012.
The money will pay for 1,000 new shelter beds for those youth, Hoylman said. The beds will "help protect the most vulnerable among us from sexual abuse and trafficking, reduce HIV/AIDS transmissions and keep our kids out of the juvenile justice system," he said.
Cuomo, Heastie and Skelos did not immediately respond to a request for comment.