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KVBFF Initiatives

The Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation (KVBFF) is dedicated to improving the lives of youth and families in need, and encouraging young people to stay active through sports.

KVBFF operates Mamba FC, a youth soccer club in Orange County that teaches young athletes how to become leaders and independent thinkers, while working together as a group to achieve a common goal through health and fitness.

In order to make a measurable impact on the critical issue of youth homelessness, the Foundation has partnered with a number of local organizations including Step Up on Second, United Way of Greater Los Angeles, and homeless youth drop-in center My Friend’s Place.

My Friends Place is located in Hollywood, which is where the overwhelming majority of the homeless youth population in Los Angeles can be found, and where the need for comprehensive and coordinated services is the greatest. Vanessa Bryant regularly visits the young parents at My Friend’s Place, and hosts an annual holiday celebration for them and their children. KVBFF recently accepted an award from My Friend’s Place for its ongoing support and partnership.

Step Up on Second is a Santa Monica-based nonprofit which has served the homeless population since 1984 and focuses on creating permanent supportive housing in Los Angeles.

In November 2014, Kobe Bryant will serve as the honorary co-chair of United Way’s annual HomeWalk for the fourth consecutive year. Last year, the event drew nearly 13,000 people to raise funds and awareness necessary to provide permanent supportive housing for the homeless. http://unitedwayla.org/homewalk/ 

Image of Homelessness in L.A.

Youth Homelessness Initiative

The Initiative’s goal is to have a measurable, positive impact on the critical issue of youth homelessness in Los Angeles.

As of 2013 there were approximately 9,000 homeless youth between the ages of 16 and 24 living on the streets of Los Angeles. Most have escaped abusive homes, been emancipated from foster care with insufficient resources, or were raised on the street as victims of the cycle of homelessness.

Once on the streets, the necessities of survival and the need to cope force youth to compromise their health and well being through high-risk behaviors including prostitution, substance abuse, illegal activity and violence. In turn, they are at great risk of contracting life-threatening diseases, developing drug and alcohol addictions, and demonstrating disruptive behavior thereby increasing the likelihood of juvenile detention and incarceration.

In addition to the material advantages they lack, these youth have insufficient or no family structure. They profoundly lack both emotional support for the stresses of adolescence, and no generational transfer of knowledge of healthy life strategies. Without appropriate and compassionate intervention, homeless youth are heading into an irreversible cycle of chronic homelessness, total dependence on welfare, and permanent aversion to society.

Homeless Map Data

Some Key Facts About Homelessness

    • 75% are ages 18 – 25
    • 25% are minors 17 and under
    • 40% report their sexual orientation as lesbian, gay, bisexual or questioning
    • 42% are African American
    • 25% are Latino
    • The average minor living on the street has been homeless for 2.8 years
    • 25% have been robbed or threatened with a weapon while homeless
    • 21% have been a victim of a physical attack
    • 13% have been victims of sexual assault
    • 69% of homeless youth have been victims of child abuse
    • 27% have experienced hate crimes
    • 45% have witnessed physical abuse between their parents or caregivers
    • 56% reported their parents drank heavily
    • 41% reported their parents used illegal drugs
    • The average minor living on the street became homeless at age 14
    • 48% of youth reported involvement with Child Protective Services at some point in their lives
    • 40% reported having been removed from their home by CPS, at the age of 9 on average Nearly half of the youth surveyed met the criteria for clinical depression and 18% met the criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
    • 23% of youth surveyed indicated that they had had sex in the previous 3 months for survival. Survival sex is sex in exchange for money, food, or a place to stay
    • Less than half of homeless youth are currently in school
    • 53% of homeless youth over 18 did not have a GED or high school diploma

    * Data from 2009