interior of the new LA LGBT Center Café
The Los Angeles LGBT Center recently hired participants from the Hire LA’S Youth and LA:RISE program to serve as baristas at the Center’s newly opened Liberation Coffee House, which provides a safe environment for disconnected and homeless youth to gain valuable work experience.

The café, which celebrated its grand opening on August 17, 2020, is staffed by graduates from the Center’s intergenerational Culinary Arts Training Program, which provides 300 hours of transitional employment, including detailed culinary instruction, hands-on experience preparing meals for members of the Center, and 100-hour industry internships at local restaurants and food service venues.

Providing Job Opportunities for Homeless and Disconnected Youth

Safety precautions in accordance with all COVID-19 regulations have been implemented at the café, including the installation of plexiglass windows at the ordering counter; availability of hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes; cashless payments by way of credit and debit cards; and the closure of indoor seating. Social distancing and face coverings are also enforced for all café team members and customers.

EWDD’s YouthSource Centers and the LA LGBT Center have partnered since 2010 to provide employment and education opportunities to homeless youth and youth who are neither in school or working and prepare for careers they may otherwise never have considered.

EWDD is a leadership team partner of LA:RISE, an innovative, collaborative partnership that unites Los Angeles City and County Workforce Development Systems with non-profit social enterprises and for-profit employers. The program prioritizes at-risk and vulnerable individuals, helping them to obtain training, services, and good jobs, and to stay employed.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of August 31, 2020. Read this issue and more.