Formerly located on Highland, between Santa Monica and Sunset, the program has recently moved into new, state of the art facilities on Santa Monica at the Center's Anita May Rosenstein Campus, where it now serves even more youth every day.
While the Youth Center offers case management, education and employment training, health education, substance abuse and mental health programs, perhaps its greatest gift to its clients is simply providing them with a safe, comfortable and affirming environment to escape the challenges of the streets.
“We are very proud of our longstanding partnership with the City of West Hollywood, which has encouraged and supported the development of the new facilities and growth in our programming,” said Simon Costello, associate director of The Center’s Department of Children, Youth & Family Services. “Together with the City we are working to help young people get off the streets and into activities and settings that lead them toward productive, self-sufficient lives.”
Young people can get a hot breakfast, wash their clothes, take a shower and get any necessary clothing items from the clothing closet of donated and purchased clothing. Lunch and hot dinner is also available daily, and youth can access a community lounge, computers with free Internet access and a variety of support groups.
The City is particularly proud to support the GED preparation program, provided for free to participants, with financial assistance available for the fees associated with taking the GED test. The program is self-paced and includes one-on-one tutoring. Each year, the West Hollywood City Council hosts a “graduation” for those who have successfully completed the program.
For those who have already graduated from high school, the Youth Services Education Center works to help with college applications and financial aid forms. There is also a career development program that helps young people to develop resumes, build interviewing skills and link them to internship and job opportunities.
The West Hollywood community also plays a role here. For example, one Youth Center client recently secured an internship at a West Hollywood art gallery, and others have been able to connect with the leadership at the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station to more confidently pursue their dreams of a career in law enforcement. West Hollywood businesses are encouraged to connect with the Youth Services to provide job shadowing, internship and job opportunities.
The new facility has also allowed the Youth Center to increase the number of people it can connect to housing through its emergency shelter and transitional living programs. This enhanced programming allows the Center to help youth who simply need a safe place to sleep, as well as a more intensive program for youth who are homeless and need mental health support.
The Center's Youth Services Program is located at the Anita May Rosenstein Campus at 1118 N. McCadden Place and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30am-5:30pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 8:30am-4:30pm. For more information, visit lalgbtcenter.org/social-service-and-housing/youth.