May 5, 2023
From VegWorld Magazine

My Friend’s Place, a group that provides comprehensive services to 1,000 homeless youth between the ages of 12 and 25, and their children, each year, out of our dynamic resource center in Hollywood, will be celebrating a historic 35th anniversary with a gala this month, May 2023. The gala will honor those who have teamed up with the organization to provide services and basic needs to young people experiencing homelessness.

The event will be unique in its serving of an inventive gourmet plant-based dinner that showcases My Friend’s Place ongoing commitment to vegan options. Also, being honored during the evening is Support + Feed – founded by activist Maggie Baird – who supplies plant-based meals to young people in need of nourishing and healthy food.

My Friend’s Place has been dedicated to assisting homeless youth in Los Angeles for over three decades by giving comprehensive services to over a thousand homeless young people yearly. Providing them basic needs like food, showers, clothing, and transportation, the facility also offers intake and crisis care, transformative education, and more. The nonprofit has garnered support from notable figures such as Miley Cyrus, Billie Eilish (whose mother Maggie founded Support +Feed), Halsey, and many more.

Here’s a look at the all-vegan menu they’ll be providing at the Gala:

My Friend’s Place Executive Director Heather Carmichael, who has been at the organization for over 23 years, shares her insights on the impact of their work with us:

  • Over the past 23 years, have you seen more requests for vegan options among the homeless? 

“My Friend’s Place has been serving young people impacted by housing instability for 35 years and the need to provide nourishing food is as significant today as it was then.  The young people have always had food preferences, just like you and I do, but over the last 10 years,  more young people are requesting plant-based, vegetarian, and healthier food options.”

  • Could you share more about the importance of offering plant-based meals to homeless youth?

“Being able to respect and tend to a young person’s food preferences and dietary needs is an important way to nurture connection and trust and helps us indicate that we are interested in supporting the whole person, housing crisis, and more. Also, being able to offer a variety of food, including plant-based options allows a young person to explore their tastes and preferences and hopefully develop their love of good, nutritious food!”

  • What are your overall goals for hosting the gala for this year and the years to come? 

“Our primary goal of our gala is to draw the community’s attention, interest, and action to address the issue of youth and young adult homelessness. As Los Angeles continues to be overwhelmed by the number of people falling into homelessness, it is imperative for our community to find meaningful ways to be a part of the solution. My Friend’s Place and the young people we serve are a part of the solution!”