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OUR CHILDREN LA (OCLA) is a volunteer-led, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that uses mobile-centric communication and web-based resources to assist Los Angeles County homeless and vulnerable youth under age 25 and to facilitate positive change in their lives.
Our Children LA connects homeless and resource insecure youth to supportive services. We have three programs to date: a) 2015 DIRECTORY OF SERVICES FOR HOMELESS YOUTH (print and online availability)-- This 146-page directory of service providers lists resources that can be accessed directly by youth (without prescreening or referral), includes basic services and is intended to serve as a resource guide for outreach workers, librarians, educators and others who seek to connect homeless or resource insecure youth to services. b) MOBILE APP: WIN (What I Need) (available for Android and iPhones and on website)-- This free mobile application (designed with guidance from local homeless youth) empowers youth, ages 12-25, to locate and connect to 12 types of basic services in LA County without a referral. The searchable application offers information and live connections to over 1400 area programs providing food, shelter, health/mental health, legal, drop-in/access centers, jobs, transportation, education, government benefits, hotlines, crisis supports and more. c) WEBSITE: www.OurChildrenLA.org This "go-to" website hosts a resource and community engagement center for regional child advocates, policymakers, service providers, youth and others. The goal is to improve local understanding and drive regional change efforts to better support the critical needs of Los Angeles area homeless youth.
- Denise McCain-Tharnstrom
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