To address the multiple needs that vulnerable unaccompanied minors face, Homies Unidos implemented the Central American Migrant Children Integration project servicing youths in the Pico-Union, Westlake, Echo Park, MacArthur Park and Koreatown neighborhoods of Los Angeles with support from local and national government channels to respond to this crisis.
These youth are facing an increasingly hostile environment of disenfranchisement, a culture clash leading to trauma not unlike PTSD and triggered by the impact of displacement, fractured family ties, language barriers, and the lack of tools, resources, and education to address these issues of disorientation. Families, shelter or school staff are not equipped to effectively reach this population with culturally relevant approaches for integrating these children into our communities. Through the Central American Migrant Children Integration project, Homies Unidos plans to expand existing programs to address specific needs by adding more professional facilitators specializing in migrant justice and indigenous culture.
“Homies Unidos has helped me learn how to build healthy relationships with others, starting with myself. Before coming to Homies Unidos, I felt that others spoke up but I never had the courage to before. I had no ambition for education or socializing with my peers, and now I am outgoing and meeting others through. Homies Unidos has also shown me how to be a better leader in my community.”
“I reflect on the many opportunities I have taken advantage of to grow and give back to my community - the community that inspired me to believe in my greater purpose. Our youth deserve to feel empowered to dream beyond borders and cages, and to have positive role models see their potential to not only survive, but thrive.”