Our Children LA (OCLA) is a Los Angeles nonprofit organization that leverages technology to improve support and resource connections for homeless or resource insecure individuals, particularly youth under 25 and families who are under-served and at-risk. Children, youth and vulnerable adults represent the economic and political future of our region and they deserve careful attention and increased community support.
OCLA's shall develop programs that empower individuals in crisis to identify and access needed supportive services. Technology-based programming will be favored for direct service delivery; it supports delivery of low cost, low barrier tools to vulnerable populations. In addition, programs that foster a shared vision, facilitate community engagement and encourage the regional support of systems change to benefit homeless and resource insecure students, children, youth and adults may be supported.
Strategies and Objectives
Strategies and Objectives:
The Needs of Homeless Youth & Adults
Homelessness, defined as lacking a "fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence" is a critical issue facing thousands of Los Angeles area individuals, including youth, students and families. Without timely and appropriate interventions, those affected can suffer serious mental and physical health problems. They are more likely to attempt suicide, engage in risky behaviors, face jail time, be sexually exploited and become parents before they are ready. Well-meaning policymakers and community members have responded to the crisis with compassion and hard work, yet accessing the web of mental health programs, social work programs, probation programs, housing programs, food banks and shelters can be so complicated that many homeless or highly at-risk individuals, particularly young people, fail to seek or obtain needed supports.
Our Children LA offers an easy to use mobile application and website, a "one-stop shop” with the communication integration tools designed to empower youth, students and adults to connect to needed providers and to facilitate community dialogue aimed at developing a comprehensive approach to end youth homelessness.
The Objectives of Our Children LA
Recognizing that the majority of homeless and severely resource insecure youth, students and families regularly use a smartphone and/or computers at libraries or other computer centers, Our Children LA provides web-based resources to help homeless or otherwise at risk youth and adults find the supports they need to survive, especially those most vulnerable to poor life outcomes due to disability, abandonment, neglect, abuse, poverty, and trauma.
- Our Children LA will offer the mobile and internet-based technological methods to connect vulnerable individuals, including youth, students, and families, to available support systems.
- Our Children LA will use technologies that are responsive to the needs of the homeless and severely resource insecure which means tools provided shall be low-barrier, freely accessible, and easy-to-use.
- Our Children LA will strive to use tools that support ongoing efforts by providers and community-based systems to serve vulnerable children and youth.
- Our Children LA will build and maintain a free and accessible website to provide information to advocates, policymakers, nonprofits, foundations, and citizens on best practices and resources available to address youth homelessness.