Homeless Adolescent and Young Adult Wellness Center

Lisa de Gyarfas, MS
Manager, High Risk Youth Program

In recent decades, Hollywood has become a Mecca for troubled teens from across the country, many of whom end up living on the streets involved in survival sex, substance abuse, criminal activity and other high risk behaviors. In response to the alarming increase in the numbers of such high risk youth, the Division created a comprehensive network of care for the underserved, troubled young people in its community. The High Risk Youth Program is a ground-breaking achievement that has succeeded in consolidating a number of existing treatment resources, increasing awareness and access among the target population, and developing a staff of professionals specifically trained to deal with needs of high risk adolescents.

Diane Tanaka, MD
Medical Director,High Risk Youth Program
Health Care

The goal of the High Risk Youth Program’s medical services is to provide integrated health services for runaway and homeless youth in our community ages 12 to 24. The High Risk Youth Clinic provides free comprehensive health care, counseling and case management services.

The HRYP also has a Mobile Health Team that offers basic medical screening at drop-in centers and shelters to maximize access to care.

Mental Health

Street outreach is provided two nights a month to approach service resistant youth and link them to needed care. Homeless youth also receive psychological services, including individual and group counseling at the Clinic and other community agency sites. Youth in need of evaluation and treatment can be linked directly from street outreach, shelters or drop-in centers. The psychologists, interns and fellows provide trauma-informed crisis intervention, counseling, mental health assessment and testing, staff consultation, professional training, and referrals to homeless youth, and are dual diagnosis capable clinicians. A limited amount of psychiatric services are available to those in need.

Hollywood Homeless Youth Partnership

To coordinate care, identify and address unmet needs, build collaboration among participating agencies and maximize the impact of services to youth, the High Risk Youth Program co-chairs and convenes the Hollywood Homeless Youth Partnership. This network of 8 agencies includes Angel’s Flight (a program of Catholic Charities), Covenant House California, the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, Los Angeles Youth Network, My Friend’s Place, The Saban Free Clinic, and The Way In (a program of the Salvation Army). Together these agencies provide shelter and meals, showers and laundry services, groups, drop-in socialization, advocacy, and benefits assistance. Participating agencies meet on a monthly basis to develop referral procedures, identify service gaps, design programs to address unmet needs, direct public policy and advocacy efforts, and advance appropriate research and evaluation activities.