My Friends Place in Hollywood…
I have felt so inspired since an eye-opening Sunday afternoon last week beginning at The Hard Rock Cafe on Hollywood Boulevard to learn about My Friends Place, a youth homeless resources center that’s been helping countless children on the streets in Hollywood since 1987. While most probably would not associate The Hard Rock Café as being an establishment always eager to give back, they certainly are.
With their annual 5k run, Run for Hard Rock Café, coming up on November 8th, I was delighted to head out for a delicious “lunch & learn” afternoon to learn more about just what the money earned for this fundraiser will benefit.
My Friends Place is located on Hollywood Boulevard, just off the 101. Serving homeless youth ages 12 to 25 for over 25 years, MFP is the resources center for young people who have perhaps run away from an abusive home environment, foster children who are now too old to stay in the system, or that kid from a small town headed to Hollywood to make it as a musician. While some may think you can make it on the streets or that you’re there because you’re a drug addict choosing to not get help, that is false. It’s not as simple as a lot imagine to get help, shelter or a job. This is why centers like My Friends Place are absolutely pivotal to our country.
MFP helps over 1,000 people a year by simply being a daytime haven homeless youth can turn to for a snack & maybe some help at turning their life around. While state aid might have you fill out 20 forms for a chance to maybe get a meal, MFP will do all they can to simply hand over that meal (Or some snacks). When you’re on the street, you’re bound to not have a mailing address, which is something you need in order to obtain an ID card & apply for jobs or school. MFP offers an address for kids, as well as countless resources to get the help they need.
While they’re unable to house people over night, a story that broke my heart was one of a young mother with an infant; she came searching for shelter overnight yet since MFP could not assist immediately in doing so, they provided her with fast food & movie theatre coupons, telling her to return the following morning for better assistance in getting her & the baby off the streets. Stories like these remind me to never take for granted that I come home to a loving, warm home.
With their gala coming up, I was so pleased to learn of a young woman they will be honoring whom they assisted in her path of starting over; she is now an MD intern at a LA area hospital!
MFP also wants to give these kids an opportunity to have some FUN. They boast an intimate recording studio, perfect for the aspiring rock star in town, & even a circus room…yes, you read right! An entire room devoted to having some Cirque Du Soleil style fun, complete with instructors from the famous Cirque team, are on hand to show kids how to flex their muscles & mind…complete with a tight rope that I was peer pressured into trying when on my tour of MFP 😉
If you’re in the LA area, I truly hope you will consider running in this 5k run for such a worthy cause, info can be found here. Not in town? Don’t feel like running? Then check out My Friends Place web-site & make a donation now. Every bit helps, & you know your money will go to a very great cause. xo
(A huge thank you to The Hard Rock Café & My Friends Place for lunch & this eye-opening tour.)