Mayor Eric Garcetti Declares January 8 “My Friend’s Place Day In Los Angeles”
In recognition of the 30 years of vital and life-changing services provided by the nonprofit homeless youth resource center My Friend’s Place, The Honorable Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, with the support of 13th District Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, announced a Mayoral Proclamation designating January 8 as My Friend’s Place Day throughout the city. Since its inception, My Friend’s Place has helped tens of thousands homeless youth between the ages 12 and 25 discover a path to wellness, self-sufficiency and a permanent exit from homelessness. In collaboration with leading social service providers and educational institutions in the region and more than 800 annual volunteers, My Friend’s Place offers a free and comprehensive continuum of care that combines emergency necessities with therapeutic, health and education services. Over the years, My Friend’s Place staff and volunteers have witnessed many of their young people move on to healthy, stable lives and achieve rewarding professions—from writers and musicians to a practicing physician.
“What started out as a simple gesture to touch and connect with another human life has grown to 30 years of community service helping the most vulnerable on our streets,” said Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell. “Thank you to My Friend’s Place for your tireless efforts to provide critical supportive services and a pathway into permanent housing.”
“We are so thankful to Mayor Garcetti, Councilmember O’Farrell and the city of Los Angeles for recognizing the hard-work and dedication of My Friend’s Place staff, supporters, volunteers and most importantly the young people who have come to us over the past three decades determined to better their lives,” commented My Friend’s Place Executive Director Heather Carmichael, “As we reflect on our 30-year history, we feel fortunate to celebrate our accomplishments, but remain resolute in our mission of developing and sustaining unique programming with the goal of ending youth homelessness, one young person at a time.”
My Friend’s Place History: On January 8, 1987, two friends working in Hollywood were compelled to help the homeless youth who populated the sidewalks just outside of their office door. Determined to effect change, no matter how small, the co-founders of My Friend’s Place, Steve LePore and Craig Scholz, began spending their break time making and distributing sack lunches to the young people living on the streets. Soon, this simple act became a grassroots movement and Steve and Craig had assembled a group of kind-hearted volunteers who traversed Hollywood delivering meals. After countless hours of interactions with these young people, the duo realized providing meals only addressed a small portion of the issue. Within a year, the idea was born for creating a judgment-free, “safe place” where intangible needs such as physical and mental health services, creative outlets and employment and education assistance could be met. Thirty years later, My Friend’s Place has grown into a dynamic resource center that offers a comprehensive continuum of services to more than 1,350 homeless youth between the ages of 12 and 25, and their children, each year. Through the expansive programming offered at its Hollywood location, My Friend’s Place provided more than 30,000 meals last year, in addition to engaging nearly 500 young people in more than 700 creative and living arts workshops across 21,000 individual visits.
Additional events in celebration of My Friend’s Place’s 30th Anniversary, including the 30th Anniversary Gala on April 7 at the Hollywood Palladium, will be announced in early 2018. For current information about its upcoming 30th Anniversary events, be sure to follow My Friend’s Place on all their social media channels listed below.
MY FRIEND’S PLACE SOCIAL MEDIA: