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New Alternatives Fact Sheet

There are a number of factors that make New Alternatives unique, even among organizations for homeless LGBT youth in New York:

  • New Alternatives works with youth that slip through the cracks in the programming that other organizations offer, either because they’re “too” mentally ill, or unwilling to come into the shelter or foster care systems, or “too” trans, or simply “too” different.
  • New Alternatives is based on a low barrier-to-entry harm reduction model — one where youth can just walk in off the street and be fed, or clothed, or get help with everything from getting a Social Security card to applying to a GED program or college without having to fill out a pile of paperwork or commit to continuing in some kind of program.
  • New Alternatives is funded solely through individual donors, small foundations, and fundraising events. As a very small organization, and one of the few agencies working with youth in the 21-24 year old demographic, there are three primary reasons why we do not apply for government grants: first of all, because most would restrict our right to serve youth in the 21+ demographic; secondly, because the reporting requirements far exceed the kind of time that our tiny staff has; and finally, because the overhead for the kind of documentation those grants require would mean that most of the money would go for staff time and paperwork, leaving little money for actually helping our youth.

Our youth and our services:

  • Most of the youth New Alternatives works with are 18-24 years old. Gender Identities and expressions are across the entire spectrum, but we have a disproportionately high percentage of trans youth, primarily because they are the most discriminated against by other programs, the police, the public at large, etc.
  • New Alternatives has been offering home-cooked hot meals prepared by volunteers to over 50-70 youth every Sunday night since our inception in 2008 for a total of more than 5,700 meals to almost 700 young people.
  • Youth are also offered casework services, food, clothing, and the opportunity to participate in the “Life Skills” programming offered after Sunday dinner: around 1/3 of clients who come for dinner stay to learn more about topics including emotional and social competencies (e.g., anger management, conflict resolution, boundaries) as well as practical life skills (e.g., avoiding HIV).
  • In addition, New Alternatives coordinates donations for textbooks and other school supplies for 10 New Alternatives clients who are currently attending college or vocational programs.
  • Our clients are:
    • By Race: 11% white, 45% Black, 20% Latino, 14% Mixed race, 1% Asian, 1% Native American, and 8% other/unknown;
    • By Gender: 58% male, 25% female, 8% male-to-female transgender, 2% female-to-male transgender, 7% gender not specified.
  • Black clients are disproportionately likely to be transgender (14%) or female (28%). While transgender identified clients of all races account for 15% of encounters, they make up only 10% of clients overall.

At registration, our youth were:

  • 11% street homeless
  • 51% emergency shelter or “crashing” with friends
  • 16% transitional living program
  • 16% long-term supported adult housing
  • 6% independent (paying own rent)
  • Work status at registration
  • 16% have a full- or part-time job for regular wages
  • Student status at registration
  • 14% are taking college courses or GED prep
  • Benefits status at registration
  • 18% receive social security or other benefits (not counting food stamps)

Changing lives:

  • Peers were bullying Jay, who came to us at age 16, in his foster home. We advocated to get him moved to a safer home, and supported him to stay in school. He’s now a sophomore at Brandeis University, where he is involved in student government and on the debate team.
  • Ramon came to us unemployed and homeless — he was sleeping on the floor at Sylvia’s. We helped him with his documents, resume, and college application. He has now been employed as a janitor at Toys R us for 2+ years and is attending community college part-time.

Doing a world of good on a shoestring:

New Alternatives’ budget is less than 125K per year, and is run by a skeleton staff assisted by hundreds of volunteers. The only paid staff is Kate, our founder and director, who is paid part-time. Over 80 active volunteers have helped in the past 8 months, while 200+ volunteers have helped at least once since our doors opened in 2008.

Donate to New Alternatives:

  • $4.50 buys a metro card to get a homeless to their case management appointment
  • $15.00 buys a GED study guide to help a homeless youth toward their dream of a college education
  • $25.00 pays for identification documents essential to seeking employment, education and government benefits
  • $35.00 helps young LGBT couples qualify for the City family shelter
  • $75.00 buys essential toiletries and supplies for ten youth
  • $250.00 buys a hot, home-cooked Sunday dinner for 50 LGBT youth
  • $500.00 buys a case of hats, scarves and gloves for 144 youth.
  • $750.00 pays for college textbooks and supplies for a semester for a homeless college student

The Need

Every night, thousands of lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender youth and young adults are homeless in New York City. Whether they have been kicked out by homophobic families, forced to flee conservative communities, aged out of foster care, or come from families torn apart by poverty, AIDS, drug abuse or eviction, these youth sleep in the City’s parks, on the subway, and in public facilities such as Port Authority and Penn Station. A fortunate minority find a safe haven in one of NYC’s handful of housing programs and shelters designed for this population, facilities so underfunded that youth wait months to get in or sleep on concrete floors and countertops. Another portion of the homeless youth population finds not-so-safe shelter in large, City-funded institutions or the men’s shelter on Ward’s Island, where they are subject to homophobic harassment- and even violence -at the hands of both staff and peers. The least fortunate of all find themselves practicing “survival sex” – trading their bodies for money or a place to stay.

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GOT PRIDE? Here’s a great way to show it!

Posted in

August 1st, 2014

celebrate pride
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VOICES Concert @ Joe’s Pub! A Star-Studded Group to Benefit New Alternatives!

Posted in

June 30th, 2014

new joes art Hosted by Jene Hernandez (Soul/R&B Artist, Songwriter, Actress – Conviction, Cash Flow, Tio Papi) with musical direction by Nate Buccieri, Voices for Homeless LGBTQ Youth brings together a star-studded group for one night to benefit the vital youth organization New Alternatives.

The evening will feature appearances and performances by:

Andrea McArdle (Broadway’s Original Annie, Les Miserables, Jerry’s Girls, Beauty and the Beast)
Ann Hampton Calloway (Platinum Award-winning & Tony Award-nominated songwriter/singer/actress)
DIVA, presented by Marty Thomas (Wicked, Xanadu, The Secret Garden), featuring Kelly King (Michael Bolton, Babyface), Alexa Green (Wicked), Marissa Rosen (My Big Gay Italian Wedding)
E.Cornelius Clayton (Wonderland, Beautiful)
Anne Steele (MAC & Bistro Awards-winning artist)
Bridget Everett (At Least Its Pink, Inside Amy Schumer, Our Hit Parade)
Jene Hernandez
Fatima Ptacek (Curfew, Dora the Explorer, Tio Papi)
Jeremy Abram (Louis Armstrong: Jazz Ambassador, Love Blactually, Out of the Game)
Shakina Nayfack (One Woman Show)
** Talent subject to change and additional artists will be added as confirmed


$30.00 to $40.00 — Reserved Seat  (also, $12 food or 2 drink minimum)

$100.00 —  Reserved Booth Seat & VIP Reception (also, $12 food or 2 drink minimum)

**Fair market value of ticket is $20, the remainder is tax deductible.**

VIP Reception:   6:00PM-6:30PM

Doors Open:   6:30PM        

Show Starts:   7:00PM

To purchase door prize tickets, make a donation
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($10/3 tickets, $20/8 tickets, $100/50 tickets) on the New Alternatives site here, and be sure to enter “Door Prize” in the Special Instructions section (click on “+” next to “Add special instructions or message”). Additional tickets will be sold at the door, where you will be able to pick up your pre-purchased door prize tickets as well.

For further information, jeremy@newalternativesnyc.org or call 917-991-5975.

See You at Our PrideFest Booth! HAPPY PRIDE EVERYONE!

Posted in

June 29th, 2014


PrideFest, now in its 20th year, is our annual LGBT street fair that combines vendors, entertainers and activities for a day of fun and celebration in the name of equality.

PrideFest attracts thousands of out-of-state visitors and brings them together with local residents and families, corporate sponsors, community leaders and area business owners. PrideFest is the perfect place to stop to listen to a few tunes, grab a bite to eat or score some great Pride gear. And the best part is, it’s totally FREE!

So be sure and round out your Pride experience with a trip to PrideFest and visit the NEW ALTERNATIVES FOR LGBT HOMELESS YOUTH information booth!


UNCIVIL UNION – Official Pride Week Fundraiser for New Alternatives!

Posted in

June 25th, 2014


Making its national debut during PRIDE week in New York City, UNCIVIL UNION spotlights the artistic community entertaining, inspiring and encouraging individuals from every walk of life to end discrimination against LGBTQ people. UNCIVIL UNION will feature the top names in comedy and music gathered on stage in support of EQUALITY. There will be stand-up comedy, music, celebrity guests and surprises, including opportunities on-site for fans to engage in this important cause.  W. Kamau Bell , Nikki Glaser , Eliot Glazer , Carrie Keagan , Jillette Johnson , Mates of State , Wakey!Wakey! , Broad City , and surprise guests to be announced!

THE ALLY COALITION was created by GRAMMY-winning band FUN. and designer Rachel Antonoff whose mission is to inspire people to take action for LGBTQ equality through education, awareness and advocacy.  “UNCIVIL UNION combines two of our favorite entertainments – music and comedy – to celebrate equality. Even better is that we can support terrific local organizations tirelessly working for equal rights.” – Rachel Antonoff, Nate Ruess, Jack Antonoff, Andrew Dost, The Ally Coalition (TAC) co-founders

Proceeds from the event will benefit two New York City-based charities: NEW ALTERNATIVES FOR LGBT HOMELESS YOUTH & Broadway Impact.



 “New Alternatives is excited to partner with THE ALLY COALITION on this event which will help support LGBT homeless youth in NYC. While we are busy celebrating PRIDE, it’s easy to forget that for some LGBT youth, coming out can have dire consequences, including family rejection and homelessness. It is our responsibility as LGBT adults to take responsibility for making sure that these youth are able to find safety and community.” – Kate Barnhart, Executive Director

WHERE: Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012

WHEN: Wednesday, June 25th

TIME: 8:00pm


$35.00 GA
$98.00 VIP*

- Reserved Priority Seating in VIP Section
- Meet & Greet with the artists
- Commemorative event poster signed by the cast
- Special VIP perks to be announced!

‘98: Jason Collins (the first openly gay athlete in professional sports) wears #98 in tribute to the year Matthew Shepard was killed. A Brooklyn Nets jersey, signed by Jason Collins, will be available for auction at the event.

The FIDELIO STRING QUARTET! Donor, Volunteer, & Community Appreciation Event – FREE!

Posted in

June 6th, 2014

FRONT june 6 2014 event postcard 4 by 6 inches


** No Tickets Required ** Everyone is welcome – Bring a friend!

Doors open at 6:00PM, program starts at 7:00PM, reception begins at 8:00PM after the performance ends.

The Fidelio String Quartet (Caitlin Lynch, Jia Kim, Miki-Sophia Cloud, and Rebecca Anderson) was founded in 2013 by four musicians with a deep passion for the quartet repertoire and a tenacious commitment to sharing music as an exciting, healing and empowering force.


All four members are alumni of the Perlman Music Program, and between them, hold degrees from Juilliard, the Curtis Institute, Harvard University, Cleveland Institute of Music, Yale School of Music, New England Conservatory, and the University for Music in Vienna, Austria.

The Fidelios individually maintain exciting performing careers, giving concerts across the country and around the world with ensembles such as A Far Cry, The Cleveland Orchestra, The New York Chamber Soloists, and Eighth Blackbird, and collaborating with such celebrated artists as Itzhak Perlman, Ani Kavafian, Ida Kavafian, members of the Tokyo, Juilliard, Cavani, and Cleveland Quartets, Andre Watts, David Shifrin, Steven Tenenbom, Peter Wiley, Daniel Phillips, Questlove, and Ben Folds. Dedicated to sharing their art, the Fidelios are experienced educators and ambassadors for music to rising young musicians, enthusiasts, and first-timers alike. Based in New York City, the FSQ launches this fall with live performances, community projects, residencies, and new media.

KICK OFF PRIDE MONTH RIGHT! Drag Rainbow Walk & Run — Fundraiser for New Alternatives!

Posted in

June 1st, 2014

5mile run



THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO …Get healthy! … Have fun! … and Let your freak flag fly!  All to benefit New Alternatives for LGBT Homeless Youth.  

Sound amazing? It is!  Participants are encouraged to dress in drag or rainbow outfits as they walk/run 5 miles in the beautiful Hudson River Park. The top 3 participants who raise the most money will receive special prizes at the After Party @ Boots and Saddle.

HOW TO REGISTER, $40/participant:  

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to submit your $40 registration payment.   Please type YOUR NAME and the EVENT NAME ” 5 Mile Walk/Run” in the instructions field.  (If you’d like to participate, but are unable to pay the registration fee, please email kelseyroberts@gmail.com) 


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to submit their donation to sponsor your fabulous walk/run.    Please have your family & friends to type the EVENT NAME “5 Mile Walk/Run” and “THIS DONATION IS TO SPONSOR -YOUR NAME”  in the instructions field so that YOU get credit.  Please follow up and remind them to do this.  We really want you to get the credit!  

EVERYONE is a WINNER at the AFTER PARTY at Boots & Saddle.  For those 21 and over, for each mile walked/run, you will receive a colored sticker at the mile marker.  Collect all 5 colors of the rainbow as you complete the challenge. (Hint:  Stickers = free shots at the after party!)  AFTER PARTY @ BOOTS AND SADDLE:  76 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014


Posted in Events News

May 27th, 2014












The National Campaign for Youth Shelter is a collaborative effort that will build a grassroots campaign to demand a national response to youth homelessness. This new national campaign will focus on sheltering homeless youth, including LGBT youth.

The National Campaign for Youth Shelter calls for:

1. A federal commitment to provide ALL young people, ages 24 and under, with immediate access to safe shelter, affirming the principle that no young person in the United States should be left homeless in the streets.

2. An immediate commitment to add 22,000 shelter beds, along with appropriate services – a five-fold increase over the current level of resources.

3. A more accurate and comprehensive effort to count the number of homeless youth in the nation in order to determine the number of beds that are needed over the next decade.

The campaign will to hold a rally in New York City to launch the campaign as a priority within the LGBT movement on June 2, 2014 in Washington Square Park.

LGBT youth are disproportionately over-represented in the homeless youth population, with as many as 40% of the nation’s homeless youth being LGBT, while only 5% of the overall youth population is LGBT. Currently, there are only approximately 4,000 youth shelter beds in the United States, yet as many as 500,000 unaccompanied youths experience homelessness each year.

“It’s indefensible that our nation would abide hundreds of thousands of young people to be homeless and on their own,” says Jerry Jones, executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless. “The National Campaign for Youth Shelter will highlight the urgency of basic emergency shelter as we work toward permanent solutions to this crisis.”

Spring Meet and Greet

Posted in

March 21st, 2014

Join us on March 21 from 7-9pm
Where: 81 Christopher St, New York, NY
Our featured Speaker will be Kadeem Swenson. Kadeem is a New Alternatives client and student at Brooklyn College

Meet and Greet with New Alternatives

Posted in Events

March 10th, 2014

Join us on  March 21 from 7-9pm
Where: 81 Christopher St, New York, NY
Our featured Speaker will be Kadeem Swenson. Kadeem is a New Alternatives client and student at Brooklyn College

Party with us on Valentine’s Day

Posted in

February 14th, 2014

We’re organizing a fun party in honor of Valentine’s Day!

Whether you plan on spending it with your significant other or your (chosen) family and friends, we hope that you can join us!

Date: Friday, February 14
Place: the great restaurant Il Bastardo in Chelsea (191 Seventh Ave, between 21st and 22nd Street)
Time: from 8:30PM to 11:30PM.
There will be a DJ and live performances, as well as a silent auction with amazing items (100% of proceeds will go to New Alternatives)! Make sure to regularly check our Facebook page for updates on the auctioned items and performances!
We’re organizing this party in collaboration with Gentle Emme.

Thank you and we all look forward to seeing you!


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