LAYN

The Countdown is On...Back to School in 15 Days! 

 

Help LAYN youth feel prepared to ring in the new school year, when you donate essential supplies, like pens, pencils, paper, notebooks and planners!
 
SimplyGETan item on your child's supply list and pick up an extra one to GIVEto homeless and foster youth in your community!
 
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Shopping online? No problem!
 
You can make your purchases from LAYN's Amazon Wish ListviaAmazon Smile, and Amazon will donate 0.5 percent of your purchase to LAYN at no additional cost to you! That's making TWO donations in one!
 
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Finished your shopping already?
You can still make a donation by clicking the button below.
 
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Dealing with the Stigma of Mental Health in Minority Communities 

 

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Mental illness is the number one health issue affecting young people in the U.S., yet it is often disproportionally diagnosed and treated in communities of color.

As we highlight Minority Mental Health Month, the Los Angeles Youth Network (LAYN) wants to shed light on minority youth, who have experienced unique and considerable challenges in accessing mental health services.

From birth, former LAYN youth, Jay was exposed to adverse circumstances that ultimately led to his PTSD diagnosis. He was removed from his mother’s care due to drug addiction, spent his formative years in numerous foster homes, lacked family support and by high school found himself completely homeless.

“Before ending up on the street, I tried staying with my grandmother for a little while,” said Jay. “But, that didn’t work out because I felt like she didn’t understand what I was going through --- and wasn’t willing to get me the help I needed.”

According to Foster Focus Magazine, one out of every four foster care alumni experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Read more: Minority Mental Health Month

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In a society where many young men and women live with their parents well into their 20s, there are thousands of homeless youth --- approximately 9,000 in Los Angeles County --- who quickly learn from a young age that they are their own responsibility. For them, moving from abandonment and rejection to support and a safe place to live can make all the difference for a future free from homelessness.

At 17, Teddy was kicked out of his parents’ home, with nowhere else to go. After his mom remarried, he says their relationship went from bad to worse.

“There was constant fighting and she saw me more as a babysitter for my younger siblings than as her son with his own dreams and aspirations,” said Teddy. “One day, I came home and she had packed up my bags and told me to get out.”

Alone and confused, Teddy stayed at a friend’s house for a few days before heading to Los Angeles in search of a better life. “Reality hit hard,” he said. “I spent the next year looking for work while living in four shelters, two hotels and couch surfing.” For Teddy, life became all about surviving.

Fortunately, a friend told Teddy about the Los Angeles Youth Network (LAYN). He was quickly accepted into LAYN’s Transitional Living Program (TLP), and credits the organization with, “giving me the chance and the tools for a better future when no one else would.”

 

For more than three decades, LAYN has been a place of restoration and support for hundreds of youth who find themselves in similar situations.

 

During his stay, at LAYN, Teddy was able to obtain his GED, learn computer skills and complete an internship at a local production studio.

“I am so thankful for my time at LAYN,” shared Teddy. “This experience has really made me want to give back in some way.”

A passionate and creative individual, giving back is exactly what Teddy has planned by producing community outreach projects focused on the triumphs and challenges of homeless youth.

If you would like to help youth like Teddy get a hand-up from their circumstance with the support they need to stop the cycle of homelessness, contact the Los Angeles Youth Network Development Department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (323) 467-8466. You can also make an online donation, when you click here.

Many of us remember what it was like to attend our first school dance, prom, or homecoming. The hours of stress to find the right dress or the perfect matching tie, trying to remember your best dance moves, and the anticipation of the crowning of a king and queen made for a night of building great memories.

 Last week, the staff at the Los Angeles Youth Network (LAYN) helped the youth we serve forget their worries for a few hours and prepare for a typical teenage milestone: PROM!

Staff spent Friday afternoon at the inaugural LAYN Throw Back Prom. The event was complete with tie-tying lessons, learning how to create boutonnieres and corsages, and constructing Prom King and Queen crowns.

 

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“Many of our youth never thought they would be able to attend prom,” said Jazmine Wilson, LAYN Education Specialist. “We created this event to help them overcome their fears and apprehensions. The idea was to have a “practice prom,” so they are prepared for the real thing.”

LAYN staff joined in on the fun, sharing their own prom stories, throwback photos and even dressing up for the occasion. In all the youth left excited about the upcoming festivities.

“I finally know how to tie a tie,” exclaimed Jacob, a 17-year-old male youth in LAYN’s Short-Term Residential Therapeutic Program. “No one has ever showed me how to do that.”

 

 Visit our Facebook page to see more photos! 

If you’d like to donate items essential to a youth’s prom, please contact the Development Department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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HELP HOMELESS YOUTH LEAVE HOMELESSNESS BEHIND FOR GOOD
 
The Los Angeles Youth Network has acquired new scattered-site apartmentsand will be increasing the number of Transitional Age Youth (TAY) we serve. 
 
Through our Transitional Living Program (TLP), 26 homeless youth, ages 18-24, will receive stable housing, employment and educational assistance, and have access to mental health services.
 
We need your help to make sure these youth have what they need!
 
help furnish a youth's apartment today!
 
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