This site seeks young adults to serve and learn with the people of Hollywood, to engage in intentional Christian community and personal discipleship, to work with local ministries and agencies and to explore urban, multicultural ministry as a vocation and calling.
Candidates will be interviewed and placed with Hollywood agencies and ministries based on the need of the local ministry and the gifts and talents of the candidate. While the brand identity of “Hollywood” conjures up images of fame and fortune, the geographic region is one of the lowest income areas of Los Angeles. On any given night in Los Angeles county, there are 60,000 to 100,000 people living on the streets, with Hollywood itself being home to thousands of homeless teens and young adults. Many are would-be stars who’ve migrated in search of opportunities, totally overwhelmed by the competition that exists; others are runaways or throwaways; others have pre-existing mental illnesses and some develop them as a result of sleeping regularly on sidewalks. And, with recent shifts in the economic landscape, homeless families are on the rise, as the number one cause for homelessness in LA County is the loss of employment. We have multiple agency partnerships, and YAV/Dwellers may work on a street outreach team, handling client intake processes, facilitating support groups for young adults, acting as advocates for families in receiving required assistance, etc. YAV/Dwellers serve, on average, 32 hours each week within an agency setting.
YAV/Dwellers are also responsible for maintaining the neighborhood ministry program out of La Casa de la Comunidad. Formally known as the Hollywood Urban Project, a ministry of the Hollywood Presbyterian Church, this site has served as a gathering place for more than 20 years. La Casa de la Comunidad is attached to the YAV/Dwell duplex, and is situated in a neighborhood of predominantly Latin American immigrants, some documented, some undocumented. YAV/Dwellers are asked, at first, to spend ample time getting to know neighbors relationally, and prayerfully discerning programmatic elements. After-school tutoring and fellowship building games, basketball tournaments, hosting Bible studies, YoungLife events, and ESL courses, organizing the maintenance of the front yard community garden, providing a safe space for youth to talk about the peer pressure surrounding gang involvement, planning Posadas and other seasonal events, cooking and baking classes are just some of the many ways the house has been used. YAV/Dwellers are required to commit at least six organized hours each week, but most find that working relationally within the neighborhood becomes part of the very fabric of life while in Los Angeles. The opportunity to be enriched by the lives of families and youth who, despite facing serious obstacles such as illiteracy, gang violence, family separation and poverty, is immense. Most YAV/Dwellers experience joyful and loving hospitality from the neighbors themselves, being invited for meals and parties throughout the year. For more context, you can visit our Facebook page.
With four available bedrooms, YAV/City Dwellers will typically share a bedroom with at least one roommate, along with bathrooms and common spaces. Each apartment has a full kitchen, with another industrial sized oven in the kitchen of La Casa de la Comunidad. There is one washer/dryer. The “Gregory Avenue” neighborhood is situated directly next to Paramount Studios and within walking distance of Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. This complicated juxtaposition of extreme wealth alongside considerable poverty allows for many opportunities for working to bridge classes while reflecting upon the rifts in our modern society. In addition, the house is a short drive from the Pacific Ocean, the Inland Deserts and the snow-capped Sierra Nevada, offering the chance for many exciting explorations. See photos of our facilities.
Intentional Community Aspects
With a focus on living more simply and intentionally, YAVs/City Dwellers will create a house covenant, a common food budget and commit to using bikes and public transportation as much as possible. One day is set aside as a community day, a time to gather together in prayer, worship and study of curricular materials. It is also a space to organize the neighborhood ministry programs. Several retreats are taken throughout the year — to offer ample time for relaxation, reflection and new experiences.
Education: college desirable
Other: English; Spanish, not required but very helpful, for neighborhood ministry. All languages can be helpful within homeless populations.