Directory of Services for Homeless Youth and Adults in Los Angeles County
In 2011, OCLA’s founder learned from LA City librarians that there was no single publicly accessible resource available for LA’s homeless youth or other individuals to search for and independently find supportive services. Believing that information about supportive resources should be free and easy to find, she formed OCLA with the goal of making information about free and sliding scale programs accessible to the general public. The first resource developed by OCLA was the Directory.
What Programs Are Listed in the Directory?
- Programs listed in the Directory are free, very low cost and/or offered based on income.
- All listed programs will accept either walk-ins or client appointment and sometimes both.
- Listed program are available directly to clients. Prescreening or referrals are not required
- Listed programs represent basic needs provision (such as food, shelter, showers, and health), crisis support (ex: hotlines, domestic violence, sex trafficking) as well as essential life building programs including those offering job training, legal support, educational assistance, and more.
Who Uses the Directory?
- Anyone who is homeless or struggling and in need of helpful services
- Outreach workers, librarians, educators, and others who are looking for a useful referral and resource guide to use when offering support to anyone who is experiencing homelessness or is struggling to avoid homelessness.
Where Can User’s Find the Directory?
- Print copies are available at:
LA City Libraries (often in the reference section).
Los Angeles County School District Offices the LA Law Library
- On OCLA’s website here. Search the Directory pdf online on our website anytime!
How Easy is the Directory to Use?
- The Directory is laid out by Region. Use the Table of Contents to find the region of the county where you are, and open to that section of the Directory.
- Within each region, programs are grouped by category- ie shelter, food, legal, jobs, etc. Select the category of service you need and search for a provider near you.
TIP: Be sure to call before you go to be sure they are open. (COVID has changed many providers hours/services)
The Evolution of the Directory of Services
2012 OCLA publishes the first Directory of Services for Homeless Youth in Los Angeles
In 2012, OCLA published its first citywide Directory of Services for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth. This resource guide was requested by the teen librarians of the LA City Library system who needed a referral guide to support them in their efforts to connect the many homeless youth who used the library as a safe space to essential services. OCLA’s founder, with the help of an intern and a talented graphic designer, Jennifer Essen, (who offered her services pro bono), researched, designed, published and donated this directory for distribution through the LA City Library System. This early Directory limited program listing to those who offered essential basic needs.
The directory was a success, not only with librarians but also with schools, local juvenile public defenders and others who worked with homeless or at-risk youth.
2015 Directory of Services for Homeless Youth in Los Angeles
In response to requests to expand the directory to offer guidance to youth countywide, OCLA published the 2015 Directory, which expanded the listed programs to include programs located anywhere in the county that served and supported regional homeless youth. This directory also expanded the types of services listed to include not only basic immediate needs but also education and jobs and other programming youth needed to build a life away from homelessness. Layout and graphics were again offered by designer Jennifer Essen.
2019- OCLA publishes the only countywide Directory of Services for Homeless Adults and Youth
This expanded Directory includes countywide programs serving not only youth, but also families and adults. Bank of America partially underwrote the costs of the graphic design which was again created by Jennifer Essen. This is available on OCLA’s website and selected libraries and offices around the county.