Homeless Youth Drop-In

Hollywood offers the illusion of numerous and glamorous opportunities for the youth who leave the untenable situations they had at home. But the journey often ends in homelessness, an issue that finds new dimensions with each generation. Selected after a competitive process to help renovate an existing homeless youth drop-in center located in Hollywood, the design needs to upgrade and properly house the growing number of programs this agency provides. Clients receive food, clothing, dental, medical, parenting classes, bathing opportunities and laundry, along with a host of creative classes. The design challenges lie in balancing communal areas which have clear sightlines for staff for the sake of security, with private spaces for individual counseling and case management — all within a tight space. Producing the finished environment walks a tightrope. While it must be inviting and comfortable, it should be neither too domestic nor too institutional, as homeless youth view both families and institutions as having failed them. Warren Techentin Architecture is committed to helping support My Friends Place Homeless Youth Center and can be accessed here.