“Taking Freedom Home” excerpt: Jay Toole on the NYC shelter system


This excerpt from “Taking Freedom Home”, a documentary by Kagendo Murungi, features Jay Toole, Shelter Project Director at Queers for Economic Justice speaking at the April 17, 2008, Community Day of Action for Social and Economic Justice.

The Community Day of Action brought together our community to speak out against all forms of economic oppression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, trans and gender nonconforming people:

– We rally against violence against our communities and within families;

– We demand accountability from the HRA and city agencies who refuse to follow the law and comply with providing non-discriminatory services for LGBT/GNC folks;

– Recognition that the fight for state-sanctioned marriage has eclipsed more pressing issues such as homelessness, unemployment, healthcare, immigrant-rights, police brutality;

– We oppose the effort to gentrify and privatize the public spaces homeless people call home, which leads to the targeting of the poor and homeless by the NYPD;

– We condemn the racist and xenophobic “immigration debates” in congress and oppose indefinite and mandatory detention of non-citizens.

The Community Day of Action’s list of endorsers included the following organizations among others:

-Ali Forney Center
-Audre Lorde Project
-Brecht Forum
-Bronx Community Pride Center
-CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities
-Casa Atabex Ache
-Child Care Collective/Regeneracion
-Coalition for the Homeless
-Domestic Workers United
-Empire State Coalition of Youth and Family Services
-Generation Q
-Immigrant Justice Solidarity Project
-Irish Queers
-Jews for Racial and Economic Justice
-The LGBT Community Center
-Metropolitan Community Church
-Movement for Justice in el Barrio
-National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce
-NYC Association of Homeless and Street Involved Youth Organizations
-NYC Anti-Violence Project
-Sylvia Rivera Law Project

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