Youth Welcome Center
16 Images

A respite from a life on the streets

Deputy Brownell removes Vonie Bonjour from the center for verbally abusing staff. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Vonie Bonjour, a 19-year-old transgender woman, has spent more than a week at the center.  (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Connie Dixon waits nervously for a placement at a foster home.  (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Brittany, 16, yells: “All you need to know is that I hate this place and I hate the law!” (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
At night, cots are rolled out and the children slip under the sheets.  (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
On this night, out of nearly 30 youths, only one has just entered foster care for the first time: Ruben.  (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Police brought a 16-year-old in handcuffs after they discovered her on the Metro Blue Line with a counterfeit $100 bill.  (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles County’s Youth Welcome Center is a converted dining hall at a public hospital. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
At night, cots are rolled out and the children slip under the sheets. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Youths are fed at the center while they wait to be placed in a foster home. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Social worker Deborah Heath, left, promises Regina Cooper that she will find her a foster home.  (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Regina Cooper, left, talks to social worker Janice Heather.  (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Social worker Deborah Heath, left, tells foster guest, Connie - a mother of a young child- that she is working hard to find her a home. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Social worker Kent Bennett plays basketball with foster care youth Taylor, 19. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Social workers like Deborah Heath, right, work at a frantic pace to make placement calls.  (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
A youth holds onto her stomach as she waits to be taken to her new foster home.  (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
1/16