Pols pitch expanding stays at shelters for teens, young adults




Homeless and runaway youth would be able to stay longer in the city’s crisis shelters under new legislation that will be introduced in the City Council Thursday.


One bill would allow teens and young adults to stay in the shelters for 120 days, up from 30 days under current law.


Another bill would let New Yorkers up to age 25 stay in youth shelters, up from 21 right now.


The shelters often serve gay kids who get kicked out after coming out to their parents, or young people from abusive homes.

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“They’re often kicked out of their homes,” said Beth Hofmeister of the Legal Aid Society, which is pushing the changes. “You feel safer with people your own age in your living environment.”


Another bill in the package will require the city to put out annual reports tracking the number of runaway and homeless youth in the city.


“The current limitations are at odds with the current reality on the ground. We need to fix that,” said Councilman Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan), who is sponsoring the package. “Runaway and homeless youth are among the most vulnerable members of our society and we have a special responsibility to care for them, to keep them safe and to let them know that they are valued and loved.”

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