Bishops Cuts/Color in Pasadena Partners with My Friend’s Place!

We are so thrilled to announce the launch of an incredible new partnership between My Friend’s Place and Bishops Cuts/Color Pasadena. Franchise owners David and Shirley Lara have been long-time friends and supporters of My Friend’s Place, and have committed an extraordinary amount of time and energy into helping young people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. For eight years, David served on the My Friend’s Place board of directors, and now now serves on our counsel of advisors. 

This year, David and Shirley have brought together their passion for helping homeless youth with their entrepreneurial spirit by launching Bishops Cuts/Color Pasadena, the first of several Bishops locations that they will open in Los Angeles in the near future. Founded in Portland in 2001, Bishops Cuts/Color is a chain of unisex salons offering a la carte services including haircuts, coloring, highlighting, beard trimming, shaving, styling and more, and embraces an ideology of doing good and giving back to a diverse pool of nonprofit organizations in local communities. Committed to providing style at affordable rates, Bishops salons combine social good with getting a great haircut. Bishops is women and minority-owned, and LGBTQIA+ led and staffed, reflecting My Friend’s Place’s commitment to equity and opportunity for individuals of all backgrounds and identities.

Motivated by their desire to give back and Bishops’ commitment to community investment and empowerment, David and Shirley decided to take the philanthropic efforts of Bishops Pasadena to the next level by committing to permanently donate 10% of its net profits to My Friend’s Place, with the hope that they will be able to grow this philanthropically-focused business model and have a meaningful impact in the lives of young people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles.  Eventually, Bishops Pasadena hopes to explore an expanded partnership with My Friend’s Place that might support skill-building and employment-readiness internships for youth experiencing homelessness.

For more information on Bishops, visit their official website!

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Provide a Meal for a Young Person Experiencing Homelessness Today

Many of the young people who visit My Friend’s Place every day rely on federal subsidies to feed themselves, especially when we are closed on the weekends. As a result of the government shutdown, food assistance programs are on hold and many of our young people face an incredibly stressful challenge within the coming weeks — how to find food beyond what we already provide. No one should endure the stress of not knowing when and where their next meal will come from, which is why we need your help right now.

There are several ways that you can help feed young people accessing services at My Friend’s Place:

  1. Order $10 Kroger/Ralph’s gift cards, and have them delivered to: My Friend’s Place, P.O. Box 3867, Los Angeles, CA 90078
  2. Purchase $10 gift cards at your local grocery store and mail them to: My Friend’s Place, P.O. Box 3867, Los Angeles, CA 90078
  3. Make a direct $10 gift, and specify in the message section of the gift form that you would like your contribution to supply groceries to one of our young people

Please be advised that gift card amounts cannot exceed $10. If you’re interested in making a larger contribution, your generosity is greatly appreciated! However, we ask that you please do so in the form of multiple $10 gift cards rather than one large gift card.

On behalf of all of us at My Friend’s Place, thank you for the unwavering compassion, understanding and support you show for our young people. We are incredibly grateful for your partnership, which allows us to ensure that youth experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles are provided with these absolutely essential resources.

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Thanks For Making December a Great Success!

We did it! Thanks to you, My Friend’s Place surpassed our monumental goal of raising $450,000 for our end of year campaign. Support from generous community members allowed us to maximize and fully leverage a triple match of $150,000 from our board of directors and friends. These gifts establish a strong foundation on which we begin the new year, and help sustain our extensive range of programming and services to provide a comprehensive system of support for young people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. Thank you! 

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Save The Date! Ending Youth Homelessness 2019

Our annual Ending Youth Homelessness benefit is back! On April 6, My Friend’s Place will celebrate 31 years of assisting and inspiring homeless youth to build self-sufficient lives. More details coming soon!

For information on sponsorship opportunities, donating to the auction, or event details, please e-mail

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Petra’s Story

I was raised by a single mother in a very poor household in Portland, Oregon. My mother struggled with extreme depression and anxiety, which I later suffered from as well. I was 10 years old and my mother was consistently faced with suicidal thoughts. She remarried when I was 15, but it wasn’t the fairy tale ending that we both had hoped for. Her newfound love turned out to be violent. I ended up dropping out of high school and was eventually out on the streets abusing drugs. This life was hard, but I felt as if I had no hope for any happiness left. It wasn’t until I found my best friend dead from a drug overdose that something in me clicked. I decided to take a Greyhound bus to California and change my life.

I initially went to My Friend’s Place for food, but they also gave me hope that I hadn’t felt in so many years. Everybody there was so positive. I loved all the staff and I always felt welcome. Soon, I had a roof over my head and my boyfriend and I found out that we were pregnant. We got married and had our son, Zaidik, who was the solidifying factor in our newfound life. When we had our child, My Friend’s Place helped us to feel like we were a part of society again. The team at My Friend’s Place kept us out of trouble and encouraged us to go to school, and they were a big part of us going back to college.We continued to attend the parenting group at My Friend’s Place. It was just like having another family. I remember celebrating Christmas at My Friend’s Place. They even had Santa! I loved that because we had such a bond with the staff and the other parents in the parenting group, so when we got to celebrate Christmas, and all of our kids were so excited to see Santa Claus together, it solidified that bond. It was really special. We still have that photo with Santa in the frame that we made.

We met life-long friends in the parenting group. It was neat because a lot of them had been through the same experiences and they were young parents trying to grow in the same ways that we were. We’re still really close with one of the families from our parenting group, and it’s nice to see us all growing.

Fast forward 10 years, and my husband and I have an amazing 9-year-old son. I am a junior in college pursuing a BA in Gender and Women’s Studies and my husband is pursuing a BA in Anthropology. I choose to major in Gender and Women’s Studies because I have seen first hand the struggles we face as women. I have also seen how race, class, sexuality, and gender can affect one’s position in the world and I want to bring these understandings into the youth homelessness epidemic because everyone deserves a chance to find happiness and success.

Even after being clean for more than 10 years, my son is my biggest achievement. Knowing that he doesn’t struggle with the same depression and self-doubt that I always did is what makes me proud because I never want him to have to go though the same trauma that I did in order for him to find his path in life. My goal for the future is to work with disadvantaged youth. I want them to know that they have hope for a greater future, one that they may not have ever expected. We really can’t believe how far we’ve come. It just took a couple of people to really care about us, and now we’re doing things I didn’t even think were possible.

What people should know about My Friend’s Place is just what an impact it really makes on young people. Especially if they have dealt with homelessness, for young people who might be lacking self-esteem or have issues with self-worth—to know that people have hope for them and care about them is life changing.

My Friend’s Place Alumna

Petra is right—connection and community are vitally important. They are at the heart of what we do for young people every day at My Friend’s Place, and what our young people do for each other. We know that youth first come to My Friend’s Place for food, showers and clothing, but it is connection and community that keep them coming back and is life changing. There is deep comfort in feeling cared for, loved and supported. Knowing that there is a place where you are accepted, valued and uplifted is what gives a young person a sense of belonging and hope for the future. As our community, you make this place for transformation possible. You believe in the potential of our youth and invest in their futures so that, no matter where they have come from, the systems or adults that have failed them or the traumas they have experienced in the past, they can find community and connection here at My Friend’s Place. With your support, we can continue strengthening and nourishing this community as we all work together to end youth homelessness.

In community,
Erin Casey, LCSW
Director of Programs

Thanks to the support of the My Friend’s Place Board of Directors and generous community leaders, your gift will be TRIPLED, up to $150,000! Only contributions made through December 31 will be matched, so please consider making a gift to bring three times the connection and community to our young people today!

Triple Your Impact Today!

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