The kitchen at My Friend's Place, the new renovated teen shelter, on 880 E. Idaho Ave.

LAS CRUCES – The Federation of Democratic Women in Las Cruces is organizing a food drive for My Friend’s Place, the only emergency youth shelter in Doña Ana County, to help pay for kitchen renovations.

My Friend’s Place is a program through the nonprofit Families and Youth, Inc. It has been open since February 2019, serving youth 12 to 17 in need of a safe place to stay. The shelter can accommodate up to 16 teens at a time for 90 days. During their stay, counselors address the reason for the teens’ homelessness and the program aids them in finding more-stable housing.

Once a quarter, the federation puts together a drive to support community organizations in the area, including Casa de Peregrinos. On Monday, Jan. 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the group will host a food and monetary drive in the parking lot of Pioneer Bank. The money collected will go toward overhauling the shelter’s kitchen to qualify for a commercial kitchen license.