My Friend's Place


PICS Organization Name
My Friend's Place

Los Angeles, California 

Organization Description

For more than 31 years, My Friend’s Place has been assisting and inspiring homeless youth to build self-sufficient lives. From our early beginnings as a volunteer-based group serving meals from the trunks of cars to the dynamic resource center in operation today, My Friend’s Place offers comprehensive services to nearly 1,400 youth experiencing homelessness between the ages of 12 and 25, and their children, each year, helping our homeless young people move toward wellness, stability and self-sufficiency.

The Safe Haven Program at My Friend’s Place provides daytime shelter and drop-in services including food, clothing, showers, communication and transportation services to nearly 1,400 youth each year.

My Friend’s Place aims to engage each new young person in an intake conversation that orients youth to My Friend’s Place, shares critical information about accessing services and ensures that each young person who walks through our doors has the greatest opportunity to connect with appropriate resources to address their unique needs and goals.

The Transformative Education Program at My Friend’s Place provides youth with creative arts programming, education and employment readiness services.

Our Health and Well-Being Program is an essential part of our continuum of care that provides youth with access to a range of clinically, developmentally and culturally appropriate services that aim to support youth in moving toward and achieving stability, self-sufficiency and a permanent exit from homelessness.

Internship Description

Working closely with the Transformative Education Manager, the Transformative Education Intern will provide cultural inclusion programming for the youth at My Friend’s Place. The intern will research, plan and take youth on 8 field trips. Interns will also create 8 projects in creative workshops to enhance and highlight cultural exchange and create a calendar of opportunities.

The Transformative Education Intern will provide an exchange of dialogue through music, arts and crafts, field trips and educational workshops. Some examples of field trips include museums, visiting various neighborhoods in Los Angeles (Chinatown, Olvera St., etc.) and music festivals.

This programming helps link homeless youth to free or low cost educational opportunities in Los Angeles. While this exposure creates cultural capital for youth, it also hopes to provide stress reduction and life skill building.

The Transformative Education Intern will obtain a basic understanding of issues facing homeless youth in Los Angeles,, particularly in regard to educational resources and opportunity. The intern will be exposed to basic advocacy on behalf of the population in the community and at MFP and will help with basic need provision.

Weekly Stipend # of Weeks Required Dates Start Time End Time Housing Provided? Public Transportation? Certificate Requirement? Can be Remote?
$500 10 None 8:30 am 4:00 pm No Yes No Unsure

Internship Qualifications

Intern should be organized, interested in learning data driven solutions to youth experiencing homelessness and a strong desire to connect with youth through the arts and cultural programs.

Spanish preferred but not required.

Former Interns
Pauline Schnelzer '21, Heavyn Jennings '20, Lourdes Santiago '21

Evaluation Excerpt

I felt like my work has the potential to directly benefit youth experience if homelessness. This internship very clearly fits in with the PICS directive. -- Pauline Schnelzer '21

Overall, I think that My Friend's Place does very inspiring and professional work and serves individuals who are turned away almost everywhere else. The staff is incredibly dedicated to the clients, and deserve all the support they can get. I was especially impressed by the way that staff members would go out of their way to support the clients in any way they could even if that meant adjusting typical expectations or procedures, and would treat each individual as a unique person, which meant being flexible in a very demanding environment.
—Maxwell Grear '18

My best experience this summer was getting to do hands-on work that most people wouldn't get access to without an MSW. I was in charge of field trips. The work was very front heavy with planning logistics in an unfamiliar area. But I always had something to do (interacting with the youth).
—Paige Amormino '19

My Friend's Place creates social change in that they provide things such as showers, food, and clothing to the homeless youth in the Los Angeles area. Guiding the youth to build self-sufficient lives allows their impact to be visible in the community. This was an extremely educationally enriching experience because it allowed me to enter a social milieu that I had often read about but had never experienced. —Lourdes Santiago '21