Journey House History
Journey House is based on the readings of St. John Baptist De La Salle, Founder of the Christian Brothers, who strove to provide an educational ministry for poor youth in France during the 17th century and to create schools that would improve their life.
It was the vision of Brother Tim Mayworm to offer disadvantaged youth in Los Angeles County a quality education, and an opportunity for long term normalcy and stability. Journey House initially provided education and housing program for disadvantaged youth that blended contemporary delinquency issues with classic Lasallian pedagogy. Today, Journey House provides services for former foster youth as they emancipate from the foster care system and transition into adulthood.
Founder and Executive Director Brother Timothy Mayworm began serving as a Catholic Chaplain for the Los Angeles County Probation Department in 1977. It was his first chance to understand the overwhelming need of troubled youth to overcome the circumstances they found themselves in. While teaching at La Salle High School in Pasadena, Brother Tim remained involved with the juvenile probation camps. Utilizing La Salle’s Campus Ministry Program, he was able to bring La Salle students to juvenile probation camps for friendly sports competitions with the residents. The interactions among both groups had a cumulative effect on Brother Tim.
The concept, and the calling, which was to become Journey House was born.
With two years of planning, organizing, and proposal writing by members of the prison ministries, consultants, and colleagues, Brother Tim opened Journey House in March of 1983, as a six-bed group home for boys on probation and in foster care. Clients were referred by the Los Angeles County Probation Department to live at Journey House. Brother Tim would advocate for and enroll clients into private schools. Journey House continued to provide supportive services to further their success.
For twenty-five years, Journey House operated as a group home for teenage boys on probation. Every year a number of Journey House residents graduated from high school, or reached the age of emancipation. Those residents would have to move out of Journey House and transition into the “adult” world with very little money or organizational support. They would become totally responsible for obtaining their own food, shelter, clothing, transportation, medical and dental care, college tuition, and incidentals. It is almost impossible for an 18 year old to stand on their own and establish a livelihood. Many ended up on the streets, homeless, or re-arrested. Journey House responded to this unfortunate trend by opening a Transitional Housing Program (THP) for youth emancipating from the foster care system called The Bridge in 2005.
The majority of Journey House graduates attended college or post-secondary school, but cannot depend on their families for emotional or financial support. The Bridge provided a safe and comfortable pace to live for those clients who were not able to obtain college dorms, were pursuing trade/technical certifications or who faced homelessness but wanted to continue their education. The Bridge operated for four intense years but was forced to close due to lack of funding and the overwhelming responsibility of housing twelve former foster youth at one location.
After residential services and The Bridge program were discontinued in 2008, residents were helped with securing their own apartments or transitioned into other housing programs. Closing the Bridge program reinforced de-institutionalization by providing residents with the opportunity to instill ownership and responsibility for their circumstances. Journey House has since transitioned into a service-based organization for former foster youth. It remains the only stable, caring, and supportive place for many of the foster youth who were once residents at either the group home or The Bridge.
In 2010, Journey House added services for female former foster youth. Today, Journey House continues to facilitate new ways of helping former foster youth to successful independence.