FYP helps homeless youth overcome legal barriers that prevent them from transitioning successfully into adulthood.
We provide free legal services, including: name changes, immigration, public benefits, and criminal history reviews. We engage in policy advocacy to reform the systems in which our clients struggle to survive.
Founded in 1994, the Free to be Youth Project (formerly the Peter Cicchino Youth Project (PCYP)) is the only legal services program in the nation targeted to low income and homeless LGBTQ+ youth. We believe all young people should have life’s basic necessities: a place to live, a source of support, and legal immigration status.
Our founder, Peter Cicchino, started the project with the goal of ensuring that LGBTQ+ youth had access to quality legal services. Nearly 30 years later, his work lives on, and our mission remains unchanged as we strive to ensure that all LGBTQ+ youth are free from discrimination and abuse and have the opportunity to lead fulfilling, enriching lives.
The Free to be Youth Project continues to attack the intractable problems of homelessness, poverty, and discrimination against LGBTQ+ youth through an exceptional model of legal services and grassroots advocacy. Through our free legal services, we help young people secure the public benefits, legal immigration status, housing, name changes, and family law resources they need to survive and thrive. Through our systemic advocacy efforts, we fight to end sexist, homophobic, and transphobic abuse in New York City’s foster care, juvenile justice, and homeless shelter systems. We provide educational outreach to raise young people’s awareness of their legal rights, and believe in empowering our clients to take active roles in creating positive change for themselves and others.