2014 Mural Contest Winner: Like A Good Neighbor ... A Community Always There

Drawing of a Los Angeles neighborhood with the caption "A good community is always there."

Congratulations to L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center's Youth Center on Highland, in Los Angeles, winners of the 2014 Family & Youth Services Bureau Mural Contest for Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs.

For the fourth year, runaway and homeless youth programs funded by FYSB were given the chance to win the materials to paint a mural in their facilities. A jury of FYSB staff and formerly homeless young people picked the winner and two finalists.

The winning artwork and essay are shared below. You can see all the artwork entries in our 2014 Mural Contest slideshow.

The Youth Center on Highland has begun a new program to engage ourselves within the community. We call it the “Good Neighbor Program” because it allows our youth to work within the community and give back. We have conversations about what our neighborhood would look like when we work together to keep it clean, supportive and aware of all those who reside within. These actions include community clean-up, community events and community gatherings where we converse on issues our community faces.

In this drawing, we depict our neighborhood and what is important to us. We placed different buildings and businesses that work to create a supportive, safe, understanding home for all of us to gather. The buildings would encompass the entire mural, and we would have words that move around the buildings that tell what a “good neighborhood” is. The hands on the lower right side represent all of the community coming together in harmony working from the heart to build a good neighborhood. If we were to win this contest, our community would come together to bring this mural to life.

To tell you a bit about some of the buildings and how we work together:

Youth Center on Highland (located in the middle with the pride flag):

Here we see over hundreds of runaway and homeless youth a week to help with beds, breakfast, lunch, dinner, STI/HIV testing, showers, case management and various groups and activities. We have an education center that helps clients to obtain their GEDs and other educational information. We also have a job center to help with resumes, cover letters and job searches, and we promote Positive Youth Development.

McCadden Theatre (located below the youth center):

This is a small theatre building housing small bill plays. The owner comes into the youth center to help with workshops and conversations on being a good neighbor. They also invite us to join food coalitions to feed the homeless persons around our neighborhood.

Hollywood School House (located above the youth center):

We have worked with the administration in providing routes for Halloween parades towards our center, helped with having conversations on good Neighbors and picking up trash around the neighborhood.

There are various buildings in the photo that truly inspire the community to come together to build a community and become good neighbors. We hope that you find our purpose worthy of this contest.

View all the entries in this year's mural contest.

9-5 pm Eastern