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Morning Brief: Healing Through Art, A Polluting Warehouse, And ‘Broadway To Freeway’

Four teenagers and two librarians stand in front of the Silverlake Branch Library holding art supplies.
The Creativity Corner will give young people, many experiencing homelessness, a sense of normalcy by hanging out with other teens their age and creating art.
(Ethan Ward
/
LAist)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s April 19.

As the city and county struggle with how best to address L.A.’s housing crisis, a group of teens in Silver Lake and Echo Park are taking action.

My colleague Ethan Ward reports that a collective called Teens Leading Change, operated with the help of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Public Library, wanted to help their peers who are experiencing homelessness, and decided to focus on mental health. So, they spearheaded a program uses art as a means to address mental health issues among unhoused youth.

Recognizing that the library is a place where some unhoused folks come for support and services, they planned an art day on April 23 where young people can come to draw, sketch and paint. The group will also provide food and informational guides with lists of resources.

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“The library is a really great resource for those experiencing homelessness and we know a lot of [unhoused] people come here anyway to find services,” said Malia, a 15-year-old member of the collective. “Since we’re here already then we thought this would be a great way to help.”

The L.A. Public Library currently offers unhoused individuals help with Medi-Cal enrollment, employment assistance, mental health and other services through a program called The Source, held at the Central Library once a month. Earlier this year, LAPL put out a call for mental health organizations to partner with to help facilitate a more comprehensive service program to those who seek shelter or other support within their walls.

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Its buildings can also offer refuge from the heat and cold; during the recent heatwave, city officials encouraged people experiencing homelessness to escape the brutal weather by going to their local library branch.

Karen Pickard-Four, head of LAPL’s Library Experience Office, told LAist earlier this year that she and many other library employees hope to see these projects continue to expand.

“What we envision is helping people in crisis,” she said, “just like we help everyone else.”

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.

What Else You Need To Know Today

Before You Go ... This Week's Event Pick: 'Broadway to Freeway: Life And Times Of A Vibrant Community'

a 1928 black-and-white photo of a formal banquet, with most attendees in tuxedos.
The image, Santa Monica Crescent Bay Lodge No. 19 mortgage burning celebration, 1928, is on view at the Santa Monica History Museum.
(Courtesy of the Santa Monica History Museum)
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The Santa Monica History Museum has reopened after a two-year COVID-19 closure. Its current exhibition tells the story of how residents built the Broadway neighborhood of Santa Monica into a flourishing community of color — and how that community was destroyed in the 1960s by the I-10 freeway.

Can’t make it west of the 405? You could: Watch a Hitchcock classic on the big screen. Celebrate Record Store Day’s 15th anniversary. Attend The Pan African Film & Arts Festival. Listen to Molly Shannon discuss her memoir. And more.

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