The White House on Friday announced that it would honor Carl Siciliano, the founder of New York City's Ali Forney Center (AFC), the city's only organization devoted to homeless gay youth.

The 10-year-old AFC offers 77 shelter beds in 4 scattered sites in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Over 1,000 young people use the group's services each year. The group's drop-in centers offer homeless LGBT youth access to medical and mental health care, hot meals, clothing and vocational assistance.

The White House will honor Siciliano as a Champion of Change in the Fight Against Youth Homelessness during an event to be held on Thursday, July 12.

“It is thrilling that as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Ali Forney Center, we are also being recognized by the White House for our pioneering work on behalf of homeless LGBT youth,” Siciliano said in a statement posted on the group's blog. “When we opened the Ali Forney Center, the challenges we faced were daunting; there was very little awareness of the plight of homeless LGBT youth, especially on the federal level, and it was difficult to obtain support for our work. I am very grateful to President Obama for recognizing the needs of homeless LGBT youth and incorporating their care into his vision of ending youth homelessness. I am also grateful to the White House for recognizing the quality, innovation, and importance of the Ali Forney Center, which is a testament to all of the individuals who have served on the board, staff and as volunteers.”