Advocacy and Policy

Through Safe Place for Youth’s (SPY) 10 year history, we have strengthened our capacity to advocate for policy that is capable of addressing both the immediate needs of youth surviving on the streets and policy that aims to prevent youth from living on the streets altogether. We believe this change is rooted in policy that addresses racial disparities, economic inequities, systemic shortcomings, and housing discrepancies. 

Youth experiences are the cornerstone of our advocacy efforts. Those with lived experience, who are closest to the issues, understand the issues best and are the most equipped to implement solutions. Part of our job as a service provider is to empower young people with the platform, resources, and tools to actively participate and advocate for policy changes. 

SPY’s Youth Empowerment, Development and Advocacy (YEDA) Program

In order to highlight youth experiences, SPY’s Youth Empowerment, Development and Advocacy (YEDA) Program promotes positive outcomes for young people by providing opportunities, fostering positive relationships, and developing the support needed to build on their leadership strengths. The team curates programs, activities, and workshops to help youth develop as leaders and obtain life skills. Two such programs within YEDA are:

  • SPY Squad which is a coalition of young people who meet regularly and are experiencing or have experienced homelessness, they offer insights and recommendations to service providers, community members, and county officials in an effort to drive system and service improvement for youth who experience housing insecurity. 
  • The Venice Youth Network (VYN) is another primary focus of SPY’s advocacy program is a space to engage and activate our network of supporters, volunteers, and community partners. VYN is a monthly community meeting and space that allows unhoused youth, community members, business owners, volunteers, and faith-based organizations to meet and collaborate on how best to support our unhoused youth population. To get involved or register to attend, sign up here.

To expand our impact, SPY participates in a number of coalitions in order to effectively advocate for necessary policy changes to end youth homelessness. Such coalitions include Our Future LA, United to House LA and The Hollywood Homeless Youth Partnership. Participating in these coalitions allows SPY to work alongside other organizations and to leverage the expertise and reach of SPY Squad, to ensure that the youth voice is represented in advocacy efforts.

Check back here for updates on relevant advocacy opportunities, policy updates, and more.

To get involved with SPY’s Advocacy program, contact Senior Advocacy Manager Dexter O’Connell at [email protected]