Albany, NY Assemblymember Harry B. Bronson today announced the enacted 2019-20 New York State budget includes million in state funding for programs to help the LGBTQ community, including funding for housing programs, ending the HIV/AIDs epidemic, and supporting local organization like the Out Alliance in Rochester.
My life has been guided by the premise that no matter who you are, where you are from, what you look like or who you love, we all have dignity and with that dignity comes respect, full equality and the opportunity to succeed, said Assemblymember Bronson. I applaud and thank my colleagues in state government for prioritizing the needs of the LGBTQ communities throughout our state and including funding to address these pressing issues.
In a continued effort to end the HIV/AIDs epidemic, the enacted state budget includes $5 million to providing safe and stable housing for people who are living with HIV. Homelessness and unstable housing is one of the largest barriers to treatment for people with HIV, as the medical regimen is incredibly complex and is easily disrupted by the challenges posed by a lack of stable housing. Ensuring that people with HIV stay on their treatment plan is critical to not only maintaining their health, but also preventing the transmission of the disease to others.
It also includes nearly $4.5 million in state funding for runaway and homeless youth. This funding is particularly important to the LGBTQ community as a 2017 report from the Human Rights Campaign found that LGBTQ young adults had a 120% high risk of reporting homelessness compared to youth who identified as heterosexual and cisgender.
Also included in the budget is $50,000 Sage Veterans Project, a statewide program to help LGBTQ veterans of military service improve access to the VA and other veteran services and which provides support for their overall health and wellness, as well as $100,000 for SAGE LGBT Welcoming Elder Housing which seeks to provide housing stability for aging member of the LGBTQ community who often face discrimination in traditional senior housing institutions.