November is National Homeless Youth Awareness Month, a time to face the hard truth facing young individuals experiencing homelessness across the nation. This month serves as a platform to emphasize the persistent challenges faced by homeless youth and young adults while also shedding light on the potential for change. The Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD) stands dedicated to empowering young individuals who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness in South Los Angeles.
Youth Homelessness in Los Angeles: LAHSHA’s 2023 Data
Youth homelessness is a persistent and complex problem in Los Angeles. As of 2023, data from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority reveals a concerning and growing situation – Over 3,718 individuals aged 18-24 are faced with homelessness, and over 6,230 youth are under the age of 18 years old. Homeless youth are often caught in a cycle of instability, struggling to find safe and stable housing while trying to find a secure place to sleep at night and confronting barriers that contribute to their homelessness.
CRCD’s ongoing efforts to help combat youth homelessness stand as a beacon of hope and support for young individuals in need. Our organization’s Housing and Support Services Department plays a pivotal role in addressing the issue of youth homelessness in South Los Angeles. CRCD is dedicated to helping youth and families through the following:
Permanent Supportive Housing Developments
CRCD currently owns and operates 13 permanent supportive housing developments in South LA with the help of local development and financial partners. The CRCD housing portfolio included 464 units of affordable and permanent supportive housing and another 1,171 units in the pipeline, with one-third set aside for homeless youth.
These housing units are designed to provide permanent shelter and stability to individuals who are experiencing homelessness. Many of the residents are transition-aged youth and young adults who are reentering the community from various systems involvement, current or former foster youth, receiving services from the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health or under the jurisdiction of the LA County Probation Department. Whatever the challenge may be, CRCD’s focus on these populations ensures that the most vulnerable and at-risk youth are not left behind.
Support Services for Independent Living
In addition to safe and permanent supportive housing, CRCD focuses on helping young people build the independent living skills and economic self-sufficiency required to transition successfully into adulthood.
At the CRCD-operated Vernon-Central/LATTC WorkSource Center located at Los Angeles Trade Technical College, we provide all-around support by connecting young adults ages 18-24 to employment opportunities, aid in providing job placement assistance, and offer free job skills training. We also host financial literacy workshops to support young people with setting financial goals, opening a bank account, establishing credit, budgeting, saving, and more! CRCD is not merely offering young adults a roof over their heads; instead, we are providing them with a transformative opportunity to build the life they want to live and the tools to become self-sustaining and thrive.
Ruth’s Place’s Homeless Youth Drop-in Center
CRCD also operates Ruth’s Place, a homeless youth drop-in center. This facility serves as the CRCD hub for Housing and Support Services as the lead agency serving youth in the area for the Los Angeles County Coordinated Entry System in Service Planning Area 6 (SPA 6). Ruth’s Place offers an array of comprehensive services aimed at providing vital support to young people in need. Ranging from housing assistance to case management services to practical resources like a laundry room, showers, entertainment area, and a computer lab, Ruth’s Place is a lifeline for many young people facing homelessness. We also provide additional supportive services for those in need of referrals and mental health assessments. We not only meet their immediate needs, we also empower them to take steps toward a brighter future.
Ruth’s Place Homeless Youth Drop-in Center. Located at 4775 South Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90037.
CRCD’s unwavering commitment to addressing youth homelessness in Los Angeles serves as a model for how communities can come together to create meaningful change. We are dedicated to helping young adults obtain safe and stable housing while building the skills necessary for a successful transition toward a better life. By raising awareness and taking action, we can work together to create a more hopeful and secure future for the young people who need it most.
If you are interested in learning more about our commitment to combatting youth homelessness or want to support our efforts for change, call us at (213) 743-6193 or go to https://coalitionrcd.org/donate/.