Safe Place for Youth (SPY) - About Us

About Safe Place for Youth

Safe Place for Youth was founded by Alison Hurst in 2011 along with a group of dedicated volunteers, offering hot food, clothing, and socks to homeless youth in Venice Beach from their cars. Since those humble beginnings, we've been driven to give youth opportunities to transform by multiplying our services, building our programming, and strengthening our partnerships. With incredible support from Board Members, donors, volunteers, and partner organizations, SPY has grown from a 100% volunteer-led organization to a professional staff of nearly 80 employees, whose skill set have strengthened our programs. 

In April 2015, we moved into our own building in Venice, giving us the opportunity to expand programs, address youth needs, and partner with local specialty service providers. The timing of our expansion is significant. In Los Angeles, there is a real urgency in addressing the issues of homelessness and SPY stays centrally involved in the discussions impacting policy change. The reality is that the numbers of homeless youth have increased to epidemic proportions, which means we must respond to the crisis by continuing to grow our programs and maintaining our leadership role with coalition groups working to end youth homelessness. 

To empower young people experiencing homelessness to thrive by providing lasting, community-driven solutions that address racial and social inequity.

Safe Place for Youth prioritizes low barriers for entry, harm-reduction, a trauma-informed approach, and the provision of a safe, supportive environment. We do this through a continuum of care that includes street outreach, access center services, case management, health and wellness, and education and employment programs. Learn more about our programs here.