The Corner Collective Art Pop Up Shop

Visit The Corner Collective for a one-night-only pop up shop at UCB Inner Sanctum! Join us Tuesday, September 19 7-9 p.m. for an evening of art, comedy and community. Photography, art and design pieces created by the youth of My Friend’s Place will be on sale, with 80% of proceeds going directly to the young artists. UCB Improv teams will perform short sets throughout the evening.

The Corner Collective showcases the creative endeavors of the youth of My Friend’s Place, where creative arts programming intersects with efforts to provide homeless youth with opportunities to support skill development, job readiness and long-term self-sufficiency.

RSVP to Serita Robinson at srobinson@myfriendsplace.org by Monday September 18.

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Backpack Drive!

For many of our young people, a backpack is an essential item. It provides a safe place for their belongings, as they travel from place to place. Backpacks are one of our most requested items here at My Friend’s Place. Join us in supporting our young people this month by contributing to our backpack drive! For the month of August My Friend’s Place will be collecting new and gently used backpacks for our young people. Drop off instructions can be found here. Can’t stop by? Consider purchasing a backpack off of our Amazon Wish List! For more information, please contact Dana Rust at drust@myfriendsplace.org.

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Andrea first came to My Friend’s Place when she was just 15 years old.

Andrea first came to My Friend’s Place when she was just 15 years old.

Disconnected from an unstable family that gave her little support or stability, Andrea* spent years on the streets, trying to care for herself, overcome the trauma of her childhood and remain safe. But she never gave up her dream that the future could still hold more for her. For Andrea, My Friend’s Place became a haven of safety and connection, providing her with community, compassionate care and the resources that helped her to imagine and build a new life.

Almost 10 years later, Andrea is nearly 25 years old and a new mom to a baby girl. With support from My Friend’s Place, Andrea has been able to move into a new apartment, and is working to find a job to support her family.

Andrea is eager to work, but like so many of the youth at My Friend’s Place, the trauma she experienced as a young person set up significant roadblocks in her social and emotional development. Andrea struggles to master many of the skills, including time management and the ability to navigate workplace relationships and stress, that people need to be successful.

Now, a new employment program at My Friend’s Place—The SHIFT—aims to change that and prepare young people like Andrea for success as they enter the working world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An intensive work preparedness program, The SHIFT helps homeless youth build internal assets and job readiness skills in the safe and supportive environment of My Friend’s Place. The SHIFT provides each youth intern with 22 weeks of case management, specialized weekly support with an Employment Specialist, twice weekly peer support groups and more than 150 hours of onsite experiential learning through a supported, paid internship at My Friend’s Place. Unlike more traditional job readiness programs, The SHIFT provides both job skills training and social and emotional learning and development to support the success of homeless youth in seeking and maintaining employment.

As part of The SHIFT, our youth interns visit workplaces as part of their career exploration and workforce-readiness activities. During one field trip, Andrea sat down with a female design executive for a one-on-one mock interview. The interview took a surprising turn when Andrea told the designer she wants to work with cars but feels hindered by the male dominance of this field. The designer encouraged her to ignore stereotypes and pursue her dreams “no matter what anyone says.” The designer shared her own journey, and her pursuit of a non-traditional “female” activity— hockey—which resonated with Andrea. After the interview, Andrea thought to herself, “If this person faced similar obstacles and challenges and overcame them to achieve her personal and professional dreams, then why can’t I do it, too?”

In that moment, Andrea said she understood and appreciated how far she had come, from entering services at My Friend’s Place during a turbulent time in her life as a 15-year-old girl, to almost 10 years later, when she is having interviews with design executives, graduating from The SHIFT, and preparing to transition to a brighter, more stable future.

Please partner with My Friend’s Place to ensure that young people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles can continue to access transformative programming like The SHIFT. With your support, Andrea has come so far, but she is just one of 1,400 youth who count on My Friend’s Place every year. Be there for the next young person who turns to My Friend’s Place for help, safety, and care by giving a gift of support by August 31.

*Young person’s name changed for confidentiality

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Support “The Shift” At My Friend’s Place

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My Friend’s Place is proud to introduce our newest program, The Shift—an intensive employment readiness program that helps homeless youth see a more stable future for themselves and to pursue meaningful steps toward self-sufficiency by building internal assets and work readiness skills in a safe and supported environment.

The Shift, which will serve 30 homeless youth in the program’s first year, provides each participant with 22 weeks of case management, specialized weekly support with an Employment Specialist and more than 150 hours of onsite experiential learning through a supported internship at My Friend’s Place. Unlike more traditional job readiness programs, The Shift provides both job skills training and social emotional learning and development to support the success of homeless youth in seeking and maintaining employment.

There are a number of ways that you can partner with My Friend’s Place to support the success of our youth participating in The Shift:

  • Share more about your career with The Shift participants during a lunch at My Friend’s Place
  • Provide underwriting support for a young person’s participation in The Shift
  • Contribute gifts cards to be used as incentives for program participation
  • Host a field trip for The Shift participants at your corporation or business
  • Provide TAP cards to support transportation needs for The Shift participants
  • Provide underwriting support for stipends for The Shift participants
  • Provide Target gift cards for participants to purchase work-appropriate clothing
  • Support the graduation celebration for The Shift participants

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can support The Shift, please contact Susan Zeren Dutra, Director of Development, at (323) 908-0011 ext. 110 or sdutra@myfriendsplace.org

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The Ballmer Group Invests In My Friend’s Place

With a multi-year grant, the Ballmer Group invests in My Friend’s Place’s programming to support transition to self-sufficiency for youth experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles.

My Friend’s Place has been awarded a multi-year $375,000 grant from the Ballmer Group as part of the first philanthropic investments by Connie and Steve Ballmer in Los Angeles. This new partnership with the Ballmer Group will support My Friend’s Place in providing a comprehensive continuum of care for nearly 1,500 youth ages 12 to 25 experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles this year.

“The Ballmer Group is honored to support My Friend’s Place as it works to improve the lives of homeless youth in Los Angeles,” said Nina Revoyr, Executive Director-Los Angeles, The Ballmer Group. “We believe that by providing innovative, evidence-informed care in a low-barrier environment, My Friend’s Place is helping Los Angeles’s most vulnerable youth move toward stability and self-sufficiency.” The Ballmer Group supports initiatives and organizations aimed at improving economic mobility for children and families in the United States.

“We are deeply grateful to the Ballmer Group, particularly at the beginning of their philanthropic endeavors in Los Angeles, as they take a stand by our side to address the issue of youth homelessness” said Heather Carmichael, Executive Director of My Friend’s Place. “The significance of this investment is extraordinary and will certainly go a long way toward transforming the lives of some of the most vulnerable young members of our community.”

The three years of unrestricted operating support from the Ballmer Group will provide My Friend’s Place the flexibility to continue to provide youth experiencing homelessness with diverse opportunities to engage in services that support a young person’s trajectory toward stability and self-sufficiency and integrate a new performance management system to demonstrate the impact of the programs and services provided by My Friend’s Place. The Baller Group’s support will also make it possible for My Friend’s Place to explore strategies that will support the long term sustainability of the organization and strengthens the commitment of My Friend’s Place to implementing innovative strategies and impactful programming to make transformative change possible for some of our community’s most vulnerable and disconnected youth.

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