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According to the most recent Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA) homeless count, there are nearly 4,000 young homeless people on the streets of Los Angeles every year. This past year, My Friend’s Place served more than 1,400 individual youth through nearly 20,000 visits to their Hollywood facility.
LGBTQ youth make up a disproportionate segment of young people living on the streets in LA; a recent study found that 36% identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered or unsure of their sexual orientation. A recent needs assessment revealed that the youth who access services at My Friend’s Place exhibit significantly higher rates of substance abuse, past trauma, and mental health challenges than youth accessing services at other agencies.
Painted Brain runs a writing group at My Friend’s Place encouraging young homeless people to express themselves through journaling, storytelling, and poetry in order to develop a meaningful and productive connection to the world around them as they explore and accept themselves.
Listen to their voices.
LOVE, HATE, FEAR
by Hasheem Akbar
Can you love someone without attachment?
Is it possible to love multiple people for different reasons?
I wonder if you tell a stranger that you barely know that you love them, can it be love?
Do we tend to label love as something you can obtain rather than experience?
Is it because of this ownership that we hate the ones we love, never understanding one for our uniqueness rather than our similarities? In this, we fear accepting a love we don’t understand.
What is it to be free, and freely love someone, never questioning how you feel, but understanding the difference in your love, wants, needs, desire?
Is desire the root of the miscommunication, having different desires?
by Travis Golden
All i can do is sit and stare surrounded by polluted air
before I moved without a care but now I move confused and scared
The word is fear it’s in the brain it keeps you captive bound by chains
but in your heart you hold the key to let your soul and body free
close your eyes and find your peace a full release is in your reach
by Adam W. Pittman
To dream of life and stories untold
when life’s wide awake
to stand and walk thinking in flow
let life’s wonders overgrow
from step to step
I think I know
but still constantly on my go
Ago from my here to your walk there
with a walk I go
Always on my move you see
with life’s unexpected – sees
the truth the lies
the unwilling tries again, again
I’ll probably see
my life and the unexpected way
I walk all fucking day
THERE IS A RIVER FLOWING IN ME
by Danielle Fisher
There is a river flowing in me
There is a river flowing wide
There is a river of free spirit in my dreams
There is a river flowing next to the stream
There is a river flowing by the deserts and the Nile
There is a river flowing quietly and smoothly
There is a river flowing clear and blue
There is a river flowing with the boats on the river
There is a river flowing with fish and ducks
There is a river flowing with rose petals
There is a river flowing with love in it
There is a river flowing with friendship
This river I am talking about makes me look into friendships, partnerships, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers and cousins and grandparents.
So let the river flow through you and you will see that it works.
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