In January, LA Boulders hosted a group of brand new climbers from the Youth Center on Highland, a shelter and drop-in center for homeless LGBTQ young adults. The Youth Center on Highland provides much-needed services including a welcoming place to stay, meals, clothing, counseling, showers and the support needed to make it feel like home. Homeless youth ages 18-24 may be eligible to live in their Transitional Living Program for up to 18 months.
“A big part of helping transitional-aged youth find independence and stability is exposing them to heathy and constructive activities that inspire them to be their best selves,” said Jesi Harris, a Health Education Specialist and Youth Services Program Coordinator.
Harris brought 5 young adults to climb at LA Boulders to introduce them to the climbing community and enjoy an afternoon of physical activity and team bonding. “We were happy to host the group,” said Manager Nash Anderson. “Finding climbing has changed all our lives in one way or the other, so we’re always excited to share our passion with people who might not have otherwise found it.”
“The group had a great time learning about climbing, using their bodies to ascend climbs of various difficulty, and – most importantly – exploring their natural capacities for strength and resilience,” said Harris. “Self-esteem is developed when you trying new things that you didn’t know you could accomplish.”
“It’s the ‘Wow, I didn’t know I could do this!’ expression on the faces of the youth who all tried climbing for the first time that makes experiences like this so special”, said Harris. “Thank you, LA Boulders, for helping us to inspire autonomy and self-confidence in our youth!”
If you work with an underserved population or nonprofit and would like to come check out LA Boulders, please reach out to the manager to find out more about our outreach programming.