My Friend's Place

My Friend’s Place’s (MFP) mission is to assist and inspire homeless youth to build self-sufficient lives. MFP is a dynamic social service agency offering a comprehensive continuum of services to homeless youth between the ages of 12 and 24 and their children. Each year, nearly 1,600 youth access services.

The youth who visit My Friend’s Place become homeless for a wide range of reasons. Physical or mental abuse. Incarceration of a parent. Emancipation from the foster care system. Substance abuse or mental health challenges. Whatever brought them to the streets, youth learn that they will find acceptance, support, and guidance at My Friend’s Place.

The primary goals of MFP programming are three-fold: 1) build trust with the homeless young people, 2) lower the traditional barriers many youth experience when attempting to access services; and 3) provide a diverse array of services to maximize the psychological, intellectual, and physical capacity of youth in crisis. My Friend’s Place offers a comprehensive continuum of care in the following three areas:

  • The Safe Haven Program provides shelter and drop-in services during the day and engages youth by providing food, clothing, showers, communication services and transportation. These emergency necessities alleviate the demands of survival that often distract youth from participating in educational or health-related activities. Through our Safe Haven Program, staff take the first steps to build trust with youth, encourage them to disclose more serious issues, and make appropriate referrals to case management, mental health services and collaborating service providers.
  • The Transformative Education Program seeks to achieve four goals: 1) equip youth with marketable skills, 2) encourage positive behaviors, 3) teach youth how to connect with resources that improve their self-sufficiency, and 4) create an alternative way for staff to build rapport with youth who are reluctant to access more intensive health and mental health services. The Transformative Education Program achieves many of these goals through its Education Technology Lab by hosting workshops and one-on-one sessions in the areas of academic achievement, life skills, employment readiness and creative arts.
  • The Health and Well-Being Program provides youth with health, medical, and mental health services addressing issues such as pregnancy and parenting, legal issues, sexual health, HIV prevention and emotional well-being. Case management services such as advocacy, goal setting, and public benefits assistance are offered by Master’s in Social Work (MSW) clinical case workers and a paraprofessional who also conduct crisis intervention and therapy to provide support for challenges such as trauma resolution, substance abuse, partner violence, anger management and other mental health issues.

City/State

Los Angeles, CA

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 youth experiencing homelessness 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 youth experiencing homelessness 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.

# of weeks Required Dates Start Time End Time Public Transportation Housing  Format
10

Flexible

8:00am 4:30pm Yes No In person

Housing Information

Los Angeles is filled with short-term rentals in the nearby area and My Friend's Place is readily available by public transportation by surrounding areas.

Internship Qualifications

  • Multi-tasking skills
  • Ability to display empathy working with vulnerable populations
  • Ability to work well on a team

Additional Qualifications

Spanish language ability would be helpful.

Writing Sample Requirement

  • None

Special Requirements

  • Background Check
  • Vaccinations