United Friends offers two extensive programs to support current and former foster youth develop and transition into thriving adulthoods. These are our Pathways housing program and Scholars education program. Through these programs, we support youth in graduating high school, going to college, getting a degree, getting an apartment, finding a job, building meaningful relationships, and pursuing their goals.
Pathways is an 18-36 month program for emancipated youth who are at risk of homelessness. We offer a safe place to live, and dynamic and comprehensive services, providing youth with the necessary life skills and emotional support to build a thriving adulthood.
Pathways is part of the Youth Coordinated Entry System (YCES), an LA County network established to support youth in search of housing. To apply to Pathways, you must first locate your nearest Access Center to complete a Next Step Tool Assessment (NSTA) by clicking the button below. Once you complete the Next Step Tool Assessment, a Regional Coordinator Matcher will work to match you to an available bed at any of the housing programs in the YCES network, including Pathways. If you are matched to one of our beds, we will contact you to schedule an initial meeting to learn about your background, goals, and the types of support you might need while in our program.
- Furnished apartments
- Advocacy and counseling services, weekly hour-long contacts with counselors
- Independent living skills training
- Educational guidance and career development
- On-site mental health counseling
- Housing plans to support with apartment/housing resources upon exit from the program
- Must be a former foster youth, former probation youth, or both.
- Must be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
- Must be 18-24 years old.
- Must complete a Next Step Tool Assessment at an Access Center and be matched to one of Pathways’ open beds by a Regional CES Matcher.
Coordinated Entry System Access Points, Emergency Shelters & Resources
My Friend’s Place is the closest Coordinated Entry System (CES) Access Center to our United Friends of the Children main office. You can complete the Next Step Tool there. If this location is not close to you, you can go to any Access Center.
- Shelter Hotline1-800-548-6047
- California Youth Crisis Line1-800-843-5200
- Suicide Prevention Hotline1-800-273-8255
- General Resource Information211
Pathways Alumni Program
Any youth who has participated in our Pathways Program, regardless of time and reason for exit, may receive services that include:
- Exit assistance when transitioning out of the program
- Resources and referrals
- Access to alumni events including the Annual Pathways Christmas Eve Celebration
If you are a Pathways Program alumni, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Scholars Program is our education program that provides support for LA County foster youth throughout their educational journey. Activities include college counseling, workshops, college tours, social activities, tutoring, as well as emergency and enrichment grants. Students can enroll in the Scholars Program at any point along their educational journey from sixth grade through the completion of their bachelor’s degree. If a grade level is at capacity at the time of referral/application, students may be placed on a waitlist.
- Long-term relationships with a trusted adult
- Workshops that help build college readiness skills and ways to connect with peers
- College tours
- Enrichment financial grants to expand opportunities for new hands-on experiences
- Tutoring to support youth with the tools needed to find success in school
- College and financial aid application support to help youth navigate through application season
- Career exploration and development
- Persistence grants that support youth through challenging situations
- Individual coaching to support youth with their educational goals and creating the path to achieve them
- For 6th to 12th graders, applicants must be an LA County foster youth with a DCFS case (including reunification and family maintenance) or those in Kinship or Legal Guardianship placements.
- For current college students, applicants must be a current or former LA County foster youth who is/was ILP eligible and under the age of 24 years old when first enrolling in the program (including Kin-GAP, ILP eligible legal guardianship, or adoption).
- The Scholars Program accepts new students throughout their educational journey, but some may be placed on a waitlist if grade level is at capacity.
Can't find what you're looking for? Please get in touch with one of the departments below:
United Friends is not a crisis drop-in center. If you need immediate help, please call 211 – a referral line for housing, food, employment, health care and more!