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Expanding Resources for LGBT Youth

Youth Center on Highland Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center
Los Angeles, California, USA

“Immediately after opening, we noticed the space was promoting a different level of energy in both the clients and the staff.”

Kathy Ketchum
Chief Administrative Officer, Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center
Public Architecture

By relocating its youth drop-in center to a larger facility, the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center doubled the number of clients it can serve while expanding its services.

A team from HOK’s Los Angeles office provided pro bono design services worth an estimated US$80,000 to the not-for-profit organization, creating a welcoming, positive environment for LGBT homeless youth.

The new space, an annex to the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, integrates vibrant colors and highly durable materials to create a high-energy, lasting environment that reflects the vitality of the individuals it serves. 

Beyond providing a safe environment for clients to receive meals, counseling services, employment preparation and practical life skills, the expanded space has enabled the organization to implement an emergency overnight bed program. 

The center also helps equip individuals to earn their GED, find a job and secure housing. An entire room is devoted to assisting clients to select an interview-ready wardrobe, a final step in supporting career development.

Interior Design magazine selected the project as one of its 100 Best Ideas of 2012. 


32,000 sq. ft. / 2,970 sq. m.


Facility Programming
Interior Design


2 June 2014
“Case Study: Youth Center on Highland”
Public Architecture

19 March 2013
“100 Big Ideas”
Interior Design