(PASADENA, CA) Hillsides, a Los Angeles children’s charity, is proud to announce the opening of the Peer Resource Center (PRC) in Pasadena, CA. The center, part of Hillsides Youth Moving On (YMO) program for transition-age youth, is a safe, inviting environment serving current and former foster youth ages 16 – 25. It will assist youth in their transition into stable and successful adult living by offering a wide array of services and resources. A grand opening will be hosted on June 27, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The center will offer individual case management and workshops on career planning, professional development, health and wellness, social skills, and independent living. Youth will also have access to basic needs such as food, clothing, hygiene products, and school supplies.
“We are excited to open this innovative center that fills a gap and targets a segment of the population that is in need of more support,” said Thomas Lee, the director of YMO. “We’ve built a welcoming space for youth where they can feel accepted and get many of the resources they need.”
Making the center even more unique is that a group of former foster care youth helped develop its programs and resources. The Youth Advisory Council, consisting of former foster youth, also identified the center’s philosophy, including the belief in inter-generational learning and the value of peer-led programming. Some of these youth will also be working at the center as peer mentors, who have first-hand experience on how to successfully navigate the transition into adulthood.
Accessing social services can be difficult for many youth. The PRC will also provide youth with a “one-stop-shop” for centralized services and support, linking them to crucial resources within their communities.
The PRC will serve youth Monday through Saturday. Lee expects that some 200 – 300 youth will use the center in the first year, with the number expanding to more than 800 in subsequent years. The center is located at 456 E. Orange Grove Avenue, Suite 140 in Pasadena,
The opening of the PRC is just one of many exciting recent developments at Hillsides, which is celebrating its centennial this year. In the last few months, the 100-year-old organization has rebranded with a new logo and new messaging. It's also achieved national accreditation through the Council on Accreditation, thus demonstrating the implementation of best practices in the field of human services.
“Creating the Peer Resource Center is yet another step in Hillsides’ effort to create lasting change in the lives of the children and youth in need in our community,” said Joseph M. Costa, Hillsides chief executive officer. “So many former foster care youth are at risk for homelessness and other challenges. This center will give them the tools and resources they need to lead self-sufficient and fulfilling lives.”
Youth Moving On provides youth ages 18 – 25 with affordable quality housing and other resources to empower them to become successful and independent, and is one of the four core programs of Hillsides. Hillsides is a premier provider dedicated to improving the overall well-being and functioning of vulnerable children, youth, and their families.
For more information on Youth Moving On, please visit youthmovingon.org. For more information on Hillsides, visit www.hillsides.org.