My Friend’s Place has created a virtual gala model to replace their annual “Ending Youth Homelessness” gala, which was cancelled due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Recognizing the importance of keeping all in our community safe and healthy during this especially trying time, this year’s virtual event, “My Friend’s Place Summer Festival,” will expand the reach of a single in-person event, into a multi-day series of online events. The festival kicks off on Sunday, August 9, 2020, with “Standing Together: A Virtual Concert” benefiting youth experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. The festival will close with “A Night United,” hosted by “Grey’s Anatomy” star and My Friend’s Place champion, Giacomo Gianniotti, on Thursday, August 13th. Tickets and more information for the My Friend’s Place Summer Festival are available now on the organization’s website,

Since its inception in 1988, My Friend’s Place has assisted tens of thousands of youth experiencing homelessness between the ages 12 and 25 discover a path to wellness, self-sufficiency and a permanent exit from homelessness.

“Over the past few months, we have all felt the tremendous impact of COVID-19, including young people and adults experiencing homelessness,” says My Friend’s Place Executive Director, Heather Carmichael. She went on to say, “While we may not be able to gather in-person at this time, we are excited to virtually connect with longtime advocates and new friends, in an effort to raise support for youth experiencing homelessness and ensure that My Friend’s Place can continue being a place of safety and support through this pandemic and beyond.”

The “My Friend’s Place Summer Festival” will include a number of ticketed and free events throughout its inaugural run. The kickoff event, “Standing Together: A Virtual Concert” benefiting youth experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles, takes place on Sunday, August 9, at 5 p.m. Streaming across all of the organization’s social platforms and Youtube channel, the concert will feature performances by JoJo, Kenzie Ziegler, Mario, Scott Helman, Pete Molinari, Pinegrove, Drew Vision, Steve Reich; with appearances by NBA superstar Chris Paul, actress and dancer Maddie Ziegler, “The Orville’s” star Mark Jackson, among others.

Ticketed workshops and events, including virtual yoga classes, family friendly art workshops and curated wine tastings with longtime My Friend’s Place sponsor Tabula Rasa, will be held throughout the festival, with funds raised supporting services and programming at My Friend’s Place.

The festival concludes on Thursday, August 13th, with “A Night United,” a virtual celebration of the champions making transformative opportunities possible for the youth at My Friend’s Place. Hosted by “Grey’s Anatomy” star and previous My Friend’s Place Champion of the Year recipient Giacomo Gianniotti, the event will honor actress and activist Rosanna Arquette, CAA agent and My Friend’s Place Board Member Ann Blanchard, and will feature performances by My Friend’s Place youth, among other surprises.

To purchase tickets and for more information, please visit

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