NEW YORK – It took only hours for Superstorm Sandy's surging waters to destroy an emergency drop-in center for homeless gay youths in New York City.
But almost as quickly, a social media outpouring helped raise money for a new, bigger Ali Forney (FOR'-nay) Center to keep helping dozens of young people a day with medical care, counseling and a safe place to sleep.
A blogger posted the bad news about the Manhattan center and it went viral on Twitter. Donations of more than $250,000 — and counting — have come in to rebuild the center.
The facility was founded a decade ago as a last-ditch refuge for homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youths.
The City Council says LGBT youth represent about half of New York's nearly 4,000 homeless young people.