Photography & Content by Gia Canali

Gia Canali Photography Gives Back : My Friend's Place

My Friend’s Place assists and supports LA’s homeless youth — and their kids — in building self-sufficient, sustainable lives.  It’s a pretty great endeavor.  And it’s a cause close to my heart. Both of my parents made it their life work to assist at-risk youth and help them build their very own lives.  It is one of the things I admire most about my parents.

The assistance offered at MFP is low-barrier — which is super helpful because that’s where a lot of social service agencies get bogged down or fail to reach the folks they’re trying to reach.  MFP is really mindful of this.

Gia Canali Photography Gives Back : My Friend's Place

Services run from fulfilling super basic needs, like meals, showers, clean clothes and shoes; to their transformative education programs, like cirque, writing, music, fashion design and pattern-making, all of which are great opportunities to interact with the youth on another level; as well as job-interview and resume building skill workshops, internships, parenting workshops and more traditional social services — like getting the young people jobs and getting them back into housing!

Getting married — literally establishing your life and home together — is a perfect time to think about helping others establish a sustainable life and find a home.

Even if you’re not getting married and looking for a charity to support with your Good Beginning registry, there are some great ways to get involved with My Friend’s Place (besides joining me at the Hollywood Hardrock Fun Run on November 5, although I would love that, too!).

Maybe you’d just like to support the MFP team at the HardRock run, rather than running yourself, and you can do that here.

Or perhaps you’re cleaning out your closet, Marie Kondo style – jeans, jackets, sneakers, and backpacks will be well-loved by the youth. Information about donations can be found on the website.
Gia Canali Photography Gives Back : My Friend's Place

The Emerging Leader’s Council is looking for new members in Los Angeles — it’s a group of young professionals who are actively dedicated to advancing the mission of MFP and supporting the youth.
Information about the Emerging Leader’s Council can be found here.

Weekly fashion design and pattern-making workshop

Gia Canali Photography Gives Back : My Friend's Place

Gia Canali Photography Gives Back : My Friend's Place

Guitar workshop! Singing and recording workshops are offered, too!

Gia Canali Photography Gives Back : My Friend's Place


Regular parenting support and workshops are now offered.

Gia Canali Photography Gives Back : My Friend's Place Gia Canali Photography Gives Back : My Friend's Place

My Friend’s Place MISSION: assist and inspire homeless youth to build self sufficient lives.

My Friend’s Place STATS:

My Friend’s Place served 1,418 homeless young people last year – over one third of the homeless youth population in Los Angeles

MFP provided nearly 30,000 meals to homeless youth

MFP provided over 540 linkages to on-site and off-site medical care for youth

MFP provided intensive case management to 452 homeless young people

MFP helped over 118 homeless youth successfully move into housing

FUN RUN November 5

The 4th Annual Hard Rock Cafe 5K/10K is returning to Hollywood on November 5, 2016 and My Friend’s Place is once again the official nonprofit partner! Starting and finishing at the Hard Rock Cafe, Hollywood, this year’s run will blend iconic Hollywood with iconic music in a one-of-a-kind interactive experience featuring bands, musicians and DJs along the course.

Participants and My Friend’s Place community members will once again have the opportunity to run with Team MFP, or create their own teams, and set up their own fundraising pages on Crowdrise and raise additional funds to support My Friend’s Place!

If you would like to support My Friend’s Place through your registry with The Good Beginning you can do that here.

Gia Canali is a wedding photography industry leader. Over the last 17 years, Gia’s work has taken her to weddings traditional and non-traditional, rural and urban, high-end and handmade the world over. She loves documenting the beauty, happiness, and creativity of people in love. Serving all of California and beyond.

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