We help youth find their voices
through arts mentoring and education.

Total Youth Served

Homelessness In Los Angeles

Homelessness In Los Angeles

While Los Angeles is one of the most affluent cities in the world, at the beginning of 2020 it was estimated that 17,000 children were homeless.

Even more young people are expected to become homeless due to the COVID pandemic. LAHSA Executive Director Heidi Marston remarked, “Youth who experience homelessness are more likely to be women, Black, Latinx or identify as LGBT+.” 

So how are youth affected by homelessness? They are 9x more likely to repeat a grade, 3x more likely to be placed in special education, and 4x more likely to drop out of school entirely according to School on Wheels.

There are an estimated 6,000 young people ages 18-24 living on the streets of Los Angles. Around 3,000 of them have aged out of the foster care system and must deal with PTSD and no family support.

In America, 1 out of every 30 children are homeless, but in California 1 in 20 youth are homeless. The homeless population in LA has outpaced that of New York City.

Create Now’s arts programs become extremely important for youngsters who do not have a stable home. The arts allow kids to use their imaginations and express themselves creatively.

Through Cultural Journeys, we give youth opportunities to experience events that expose them to a variety of art forms. This can generate a lifelong love of music, art, writing, photography, theater, and other arts disciplines. It can also lead to a successful career when they become adults.

Click here to watch a video of Create Now’s arts program provided to homeless children at Union Rescue Mission in Skid Row.


Founded in 1996, Create Now serves children from infancy to 24 through arts programs in many disciplines.

We focus our efforts on kids who have been abused, neglected, orphaned, made homeless, incarcerated or experiencing other severe challenges – the “forgotten children.”

We have reached more than 42,000 of the most vulnerable youth in Southern California over the last 21 years.

Arts Programs

Create Now’s programming focuses on eight main areas


About Create Now

Writing Program for Children at Vaughn

Video produced by foster youth

Ready to Learn at Urban Compass

Highlighted Programs

What People Say

“Two of my teenage girls on probation fell in love with dance after Create Now gave us tickets to see the Los Angeles Ballet. They took classes and then taught ballet to some little girls in our housing projects, who now all want to be ballerinas based on what the older girls do.”
Kimberly McKinney,
Probation Officer, Watts Housing Projects
“Some of our kids deal with high anxiety and different forms of abuse at home. This acting workshop is bringing out a lot of their talents that usually lie dormant. It’s fun and lighthearted and lets them show off their talents like singing, dancing and acting.”
Lionel Ruff,
Youth Counselor, Vista Del Mar
“Partnering with Create Now provides truly individualized and engaging arts instruction to our students. We’ve noticed a remarkable change in them, including an increase in confidence and an awakening of the possibilities outside of the realm of the classroom.”
Mallory Barnes,
Regional Director of Strategic Partnerships, Aspire Charter Schools
“This class is the highlight of the year! I’ve never been so confident in myself, or so committed to something in my life, not even video games.”
student at Vaughan Middle School
I have been leading a Journalism Workshop for teenage girls at Ventura Youth Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison, for almost three years now. To say it has changed my life is an understatement. I love the mentoring work I do so much that I want to — need to — find a way to do it full-time. It’s amazing what you get when you give.
- Holly Richmond
Former Writer/Editor, / “Seventeen,” now in Masters program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University in Santa Barbara
Here at the shelter, we can fill the gaps in our youths’ basic needs, but the more important gaps that help them find themselves as individuals and grow as young adults come from the experiences and mentorship provided by selfless and enthusiastic organizations like Create Now and its vibrant team of dedicated individuals.
-Federico Bustamente
Outreach and Activities Coordinator, Casa Libre Youth Shelter
I happened to run into the mother of Daniel, one of the boys that I’m working with at Camp David Gonzalez. She told me that Daniel talked about me and our class every week with great enthusiasm. She was absolutely thrilled that he was asking for books and wanted to read more.
- Glenda Shaw
Writer/Producer, / "Leeza Gibbons" and "Montel"

Honors & Awards

Create Now is proud to be recognized by these distinguished organizations.





association of corporate counsel SOCAL


British Council




Volunteer Service Organization