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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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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.
NO COVER FEE!
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!

Sincerely,
Kate


Share the love on Valentine’s Day

Posted in Uncategorized

February 10th, 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!

When: Friday, February 14 (Valentine’s Day) from 8:30PM-11:30PM
Where: The great restaurant Il Bastardo in Chelsea (191 Seventh Ave, between 21st and 22nd Street)
NO COVER!
  • Live DJ
  • Live Performances
  • Silent Auction with amazing items (100% of the proceeds will support 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! 

Sincerely,
Kate


Christmas Party! 12/23 7-9pm 83 Christopher St

Posted in

December 23rd, 2013


Christmas Party!

12/23 7-9pm 83 Christopher St



You can help make this holiday season brighter for homeless youth

Posted in Uncategorized

December 17th, 2013


Please consider a donation today at newalternativesnyc.org/give to help us provide a holiday party for homeless LGBT youth.

On December 23rd, New Alternatives will host a party for 100+ homeless youth. Please help sponsor the party by making a donation today. You can make the holiday season a little bit brighter for the homeless youth of New York City.

Give now at NewAlternativesNYC.org/give

 



The New Alternatives Fall Meet & Greet – Event Photos

Posted in Community Events

December 8th, 2013


Vincenzo Alexander speaking at the New Alternatives Meet and Greet

Former Client and recent college graduate, Vincenzo Alexander speaking at the New Alternatives Meet and Greet


If you missed the event, you can still help.

Please consider a donation now. 






 

Executive Director Kate Barnhart tells of New Alternative's mission and work at the Meet and Greet

Executive Director Kate Barnhart tells of New Alternative’s mission and work at the Meet and Greet

Patrons and volunteers mingle at the Meet and Greet

Patrons and volunteers mingle at the Meet and Greet

Thank you to St. John's Lutheran Church for providing sanctuary to host our event

Thank you to St. John’s Lutheran Church for providing sanctuary to host our event

Jeremy Heinerich, New Alternatives Board Member, addresses the crowd

Jeremy Heinerich, New Alternatives Board Member, addresses the crowd

Mingling at the meet and greet

Mingling at the meet and greet

Volunteers serve up refreshments for our patrons and other guests

Volunteers serve up refreshments for our patrons and other guests

Kate Barnhart, New Alternative Executive Director, talks about our mission and work

Kate Barnhart, New Alternative Executive Director, talks about our mission and work

The limited edition New Alternatives t-shirt was available for sale

The limited edition New Alternatives t-shirt was available for sale

New Alternatives Board Chair Jeremy Heinerich speaking to our patrons, guests and volunteers

New Alternatives Board Chair Jeremy Heinerich speaking to our patrons, guests and volunteers

New Alternatives t-shirts and buttons available

New Alternatives t-shirts and buttons available

Getting a chance to engage directly with the community, guests, and folks who keep New Alternatives going

Getting a chance to engage directly with the community, guests, and folks who keep New Alternatives going

Community engagement between volunteers, guests and donors

Community engagement between volunteers, guests and donors



Wear Santa’s hat this holiday season

Posted in Angel List

November 17th, 2013


Wear Santa's hat this holiday season for a homeless LGBT youth

 

Volunteers needed to be Santa for homeless LGBT Youth

 How it works:

1. Sign up to receive a personal letter written by a homeless LGBT youth requesting a gift (requests are limited to $100 or less)

2. Once you receive the letter, you’ll purchase the item and mail it or drop it off at New Alternatives before 12/22/13

3. Your young person will receive the gift at the New Alternatives holiday party on 12/23/13
(volunteers are needed to help with the party – contact Kate if you’d like to volunteer for the party itself)

 To Sign Up, Email kate@newalternativesnyc.org



Meet and Greet with New Alternatives

Posted in

October 11th, 2013


Meet and Greet with New Alternatives for LGBT Homeless Youth

Friday, October 11 – 6:30-8:00 PM

New Alternatives for LGBT Homeless Youth is hosting a ‘Meet and Greet’ on Friday, October 11. The event will take place at St John’s Lutheran Church (81 Christopher St, just west of 7th Avenue) from 6:30 to 8 PM.

We will be serving hors d’oeuvres and refreshments!

RSVP by September 21 at rsvp@newalternativesnyc.org
We encourage you to share the invitation with your friends and network!

Find us on Facebook!

We look forward to seeing you on October 11!



Come see us at the London Terrace Street Fair

Posted in

September 28th, 2013


Stop by the New Alternatives table for a chance to buy our limited edition t-shirts, buttons, and totes.

 

21st Annual
LONDON TERRACE STREET FAIR 

September 28th, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, 
West 24th Street between 9th Ave and 10th Ave
Sponsored by London Terrace Tenants Association









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