Catalina Perez

United States

#104 Feb 27, 2014
I was there in 95' or 96' this place was like Los Padrinos Juvenal hall but coed and very racial! I was 13 and put with jr girls then senior girls cause i was too street wise and gang related...i remember Mrs Bean. And all the fights and racial tension with Hispanic girls and African American girls...i was there till i awoled with Bam Bam from eastside white fence he was my age and came from a street gang background and immediately became friends!...i remember it was only me and 2 other hispanic girls there both who were around 18yrs old...we were out numbered by the black girls and shitt got BAD! I remember getting ambushed by all the blacks one morning in the bathroom when i walked in to brush my teeth they were hiding in the showers...i was a crazy lil mexican tho growing up in a neighborhood ran by politics and drugs...by the time i was in McLaren hall i was above my years in street knowledge and the LIFE!...staff decided to put me with the senior girls because of this reason! I was only about 4ft 3in tall when i hit McLaren....i remember the dj playing outside from one of our local radio stations and food and treats for all of us...but regardless of what the staff did to make us feel good i always felt unsafe so i would sleep with one eye opened and one eye closed!...after the incident in the seniors cottage i was removed by staff for my safety along with the other mexican girl.we were put in with the pixies and had to help clean after and dress and take care of the lil ones who dome were mentally ill ..the 3rd mexican chick was a punk rocker and she's the one who took me under her wing...she got sent in handcuffs out that place for beating the head of the black girls after being ambushed the day b4 me...this place was an experience i will never forget . Im glad i met bam bam from es wf who was down enough to awol with me thru tthe kitchen at lunch time when the kitvhen door was unlocked...we dodged all the cooks ran out the back door climbed and jumped over the fence were the trash truck came in....i remember it was gonna be Easter that bext weekend and we wanted to spend it in our varrios...(we were just los little mocosos) brought into that life and that was all we knew...the varrio raised us....i was eventually caught in the streets of my neighborhood numerous times and sent back to other girl placements or foster homes until 16th when i never got caught or sent back to these facilities...that radiated SADNESS, HURT, FRIGHT, LONELINESS, AND ABUSE! it got to the point where my worker was so tired of me running away that when i was caught by police and taken back to get office in long beach she would let me leave the building from the emergency exit! Just so she wouldn't have to go thru the hassle of placing me and waste her whole day of work of i was just gonna run!...it's dad how i was a lodt kid in the system and nobody from DCFS ever try to follow up to see whatever happened to me!...
Catalina Perez

United States

#105 Feb 27, 2014
I was there in 95' or 96' this place was like Los Padrinos Juvenal hall but coed and very racial! I was 13 and put with jr girls then senior girls cause i was too street wise and gang related...i remember Mrs Bean. And all the fights and racial tension with Hispanic girls and African American girls...i was there till i awoled with Bam Bam from eastside white fence he was my age and came from a street gang background and immediately became friends!...i remember it was only me and 2 other hispanic girls there both who were around 18yrs old...we were out numbered by the black girls and shitt got BAD! I remember getting ambushed by all the blacks one morning in the bathroom when i walked in to brush my teeth they were hiding in the showers...i was a crazy lil mexican tho growing up in a neighborhood ran by politics and drugs...by the time i was in McLaren hall i was above my years in street knowledge and the LIFE!...staff decided to put me with the senior girls because of this reason! I was only about 4ft 3in tall when i hit McLaren....i remember the dj playing outside from one of our local radio stations and food and treats for all of us...but regardless of what the staff did to make us feel good i always felt unsafe so i would sleep with one eye opened and one eye closed!...after the incident in the seniors cottage i was removed by staff for my safety along with the other mexican girl we were put in with the pixies and had to help clean after and dress and take care of the lil ones who some were mentally ill ..the 3rd mexican chick was a punk rocker and she's the one who took me under her wing...she got sent in handcuffs out that place for beating the head of the black girls after being ambushed the day b4 me...this place was an experience i will never forget . Im glad i met bam bam from es wf who was down enough to AWOL with me thru the kitchen at lunch time when the kitchen door was unlocked...we dodged all the cooks ran out the back door climbed and jumped over the fence were the trash truck came in....i remember it was gonna be Easter that next weekend and we wanted to spend it in our varrios...(we were just dos little mocosos) brought into that life and that was all we knew...the varrio raised us....i was eventually caught in the streets of my neighborhood numerous times and sent back to other girl placements or foster homes until 16th when i never got caught or sent back to these facilities...that radiated SADNESS, HURT, FRIGHT, LONELINESS, AND ABUSE! it got to the point where my worker was so tired of me running away that when i was caught by police and taken back to get office in long beach she would let me leave the building from the emergency exit! Just so she wouldn't have to go thru the hassle of placing me and waste her whole day of work of i was just gonna run!...it's dad how i was a lost kid in the system and nobody from DCFS ever try to follow up to see whatever happened to me!...Im just thankful to my God ALMIGHTY for watching over and seeing me safe out of tgat part of my life and the childhood i was robbed of. ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE!
Jessie

Smyrna, GA

#109 Mar 21, 2014
Colleen wrote:
Michael, My name is Colleen and I think I was in Mac Laren Hall in the early 1960's when I was 3 or 4, along with my brother who is 18 months younger than me. I went to a building in El Monte several years ago but it didn't "fit" my memory. I do remember a long driveway, memories of large dorm rooms & cells, and a large dining room with long tables. I would like to have copies of the pics.
Thanks.
<quoted text>
I was there with my sister in the 60's. I also would like some pictures
jean villegas

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#111 Mar 25, 2014
i was there in the 80's. i don't remember much. i remember having to have a pap and i was only 13, it scared me and was painful. i remember having pink eye and they gave me pills, told me to wash my eye out with soap and water. i remember about 10th time being there so many times. there were two staff members. one i remember her because she used to wear fake lashes and was absoultly beautiful. she would bring me shampoo... lol shampoo.. wow how excited i was to have good stuff. and there was a staff member we called Champ.. he was great. the kindest man ever. i also remember a guy named Charles who made me feel everything was ok. once i was moved from there and into a group home, this Charles called me. i was scared to death and all i ever wanted was for my parents to want me. if it wasn't for Charles R, i would have givin up. God had put Angeles in my path for many years. i would like to thank these people for making me feel it was gonna be ok. and to Mr. Aaron Ruben (r.i.p)who was a big man on lifting spirits of those who felt there was nothing left. there was a lot of bad. but there were also those few who did care, God bless you to those who lived the MacLaren Hall experience
Candice Montenegro

Lompoc, CA

#113 Apr 16, 2014
My mother was there as a child in the early to middle 60's. She was maybe between the age of 2-6 or younger. She was adopted I believe when she was 6 years old. How can I find out any information on my mother while she was in this place and about her adaption? there is a lot of blanks in her memory and I would like to try to fill in the blanks in hopes of maybe finding her birth parents. Any info would be greatly appreciated.
John

Irvine, CA

#114 Apr 17, 2014
I was there in 1960s I was 5 6 in and out of foster care that to was fought as a kid I was in a prison horrible food I had bad parents they took me and sister and drove us to el Monte from la I still remember how scared I was very bad
silvia lopez

Pomona, CA

#115 May 4, 2014
i was here in the 90's miss this place,the bad thing about this place is our kids they spread all over the place. but good place.
silvia lopez

Pomona, CA

#116 May 4, 2014
miss this place!!!!
Robyn Engel

Chico, CA

#117 May 21, 2014
Do any of you remember Project MAC? We were a group of UCLA students who came out to do projects/games with the kids at MacLaren - Thursday evenings and Saturdays. I was a Director of the program from 1985-88. I remember Bill from the Tigers and I spent a lot of fun time with the Pixies.

I'm so sorry it was pure hell for so many of you. The kids were thrilled to see us. Their/your love kept us going. We couldn't wait to return week after week - despite a 1-1/2 hr drive. I hope we lifted things a bit, during such a despairing time.

Blessings.
Robyn Engel

Chico, CA

#118 May 23, 2014
PS Andy Ringer was a very sweet, kind man who worked with the Pixies. Does anyone remember him? He was an angel.
Sarah

Northridge, CA

#119 Jun 3, 2014
I was placed in MAC when I was nine years old (2001). The staff liked to restrain me by slamming me into the floor or suffocating me by pressing my face into my mattress. I even had one who cut my chest with her nail and then told me I did it...I still have a small scar from it. The staff used to place bets on which child would win a fight. I was in pixies cottage with older girls. One of my friends got slammed into the wall so hard her head cracked open and when taken to the hospital had to say she did it from fear of staff retaliation. I remember having to earn my own room and then getting jumped by the other kids from jealousy to where I pleaded to just be moved back to the hallway. They teachers were lazy and told me you learn division before multiplication because they didn't want to teach me. One of the other girls was so heavily medicated she constantly drooled. I remember one morning going out of the cottage and was going to the basketball court when I saw that someone had skinned a rabbit and hung it on a stick they'd stuck on the ground...not scary at all. The food was always stale and sometimes they even forgot to deliver food to us and we were too scared to ask for it. We eventually did and they gave us chocolate milk. They made us get into the freezing cold pool where the lifeguard adamantly informed us we "had better not drown 'cause [she] would not be saving [us]." and while we were swimming there was a couple outside of the pool area having sex. I remember the showers were so filthy that often you felt more dirty coming out than going in and remember having to bring a rock to shove under the door so the other kids wouldn't be able to come in and try to touch me in the shower which the staff found funny. I do remember loving the huge mural on the wall of the kids and the orange tree. There was also a store for good behavior and a library. We went to the store every Friday and I went to the library once. We also had an Olympic event there and a HUGE banana split eating contest (I only could eat four). I tried to stay positive and I ended up getting on a high level and adapting by the time I left. I was only there about three months. Some staff were okay but most were pretty wicked at heart and should never work with children. If any of you fellow Mac'ers are interested there is a good movie that was made about a girl who ends up going to MAC (they call it McKinley Hall though) it's called WHITE OLEANDER. I would also like to see pictures of the place. I know it got shut down while I was in a group-home because they stopped threatening to make me go back there.
Debra Decker

Agoura Hills, CA

#120 Jun 12, 2014
I was in Mac too, I was in Mac several times 85-87, I once stayed for 9 months once, I came from a very abusive foster home. no one gave a shit about me. I was in Jr girls the first night I had a blanket thrown over me and was jumped while I slept, Where were the staff! The staff did not give a shit about anyone but the staff, I was moved to the honors cottage after that. it was for my safety, i was white, Mac was mostly black and Hispanic, The kids didn't like me, neither did the staff, i was 12, I was screwed from the being, the system failed me from the start, I was abused most of my child hood life, as a ward of the court. From 3 till 14, The state of California failed me, I was supposed to be in protective custody, who was my protector. I was lucky I didn't get killed, fuck mac, fuck the staff who worked at mac.. Mrs Bias too, stupid bitch, I would like to see her today, Who work at a place like Mac hall and comes to work everyday like she is going to a disco, Hi hill and covered in jewelry, She sat in the honors cottage like the bitch was a God, Mrs. Lovett was cool, I remember the Indian guy who wore the white tunic, he didn't engage much.. just an observer, Our government system back in the 70 and 80 were idiots, Keeping Grown boys with hormones growing next to a cottage with Young Girls, I Awaled Mac on my way to court, I a walled Mac when they took us out for Therapy.. The state of California should pay for all the abuse they allowed children to suffer at there hands, The county paid people to beat me and abuse me and treat me like a slave.. While In Mac I was giving Haldol... Stupid therapist and judges and doctors playing God with the minds of children, and today.. it still happens...
dee

Norwalk, CA

#122 Jun 17, 2014
My sister and I were placed there in the 80's I am happy to hear first of all that is has been shut down! I have always dreamed of opening a placer to truly help children not hurt them like this place did... I have nothing but bad memories of this place. The physical abuse and torment...
Todd Hall

Sequim, WA

#123 Jun 19, 2014
I was there in 68-69, All i remember was running out of class to the fence were it ran into the building and scaling it because you could use the post to climb. The fence had roofing or some kind of metal stuff on it. I made it over the fence only to find myself in the front entrance area i think. But there was another fence. That place was horrid.
carmen

Fresno, CA

#125 Jun 25, 2014
I was in this place many yaers ago like 1990s around that time this place was amazing we had lots of activitys field trips my first time ever going to Disneyland was there at McLaren hall I had so many friends lots of memories only one sad one my first boyfriend got sent to a group home and I never saw him again

Since: Jan 14

Denver, CO

#126 Jun 25, 2014
Robyn Engel wrote:
Do any of you remember Project MAC? We were a group of UCLA students who came out to do projects/games with the kids at MacLaren - Thursday evenings and Saturdays. I was a Director of the program from 1985-88. I remember Bill from the Tigers and I spent a lot of fun time with the Pixies.
I'm so sorry it was pure hell for so many of you. The kids were thrilled to see us. Their/your love kept us going. We couldn't wait to return week after week - despite a 1-1/2 hr drive. I hope we lifted things a bit, during such a despairing time.
Blessings.
Yes, you did..........i was there in the early 80"s
Monica

Hemet, CA

#127 Jul 1, 2014
I was in MaClarn Hall back in late 1980 maybe early 1990 I could never for get this place until this I still have nightmares, really bad thing happen to me well I was there it got to the point were I had to run away I had a better chance on the street instead of MaClarn Hall. If they really did close this place down it is a blessing for the future children.
ashley taylor

Sherman Oaks, CA

#128 Jul 6, 2014
i was there with my two older brothers and my younger sister. i don't want to explain what i remember. but this my thumbs i always looked at them and wondered at such a young age why did i have thumbs why were we all there not just me and my sibling's all of us kids. why was life like this oh and one more thing i wanted to leave so bad but i was not going without them my sibling's. the world is such a very sad place
Jennifer

Whittier, CA

#130 Jul 9, 2014
carmen wrote:
I was in this place many yaers ago like 1990s around that time this place was amazing we had lots of activitys field trips my first time ever going to Disneyland was there at McLaren hall I had so many friends lots of memories only one sad one my first boyfriend got sent to a group home and I never saw him again
.

Me too, I remember going to Universal Studios and a few other outings.
Jennifer

Whittier, CA

#131 Jul 9, 2014
Sarah wrote:
I was placed in MAC when I was nine years old (2001). The staff liked to restrain me by slamming me into the floor or suffocating me by pressing my face into my mattress. I even had one who cut my chest with her nail and then told me I did it...I still have a small scar from it. The staff used to place bets on which child would win a fight. I was in pixies cottage with older girls. One of my friends got slammed into the wall so hard her head cracked open and when taken to the hospital had to say she did it from fear of staff retaliation. I remember having to earn my own room and then getting jumped by the other kids from jealousy to where I pleaded to just be moved back to the hallway. They teachers were lazy and told me you learn division before multiplication because they didn't want to teach me. One of the other girls was so heavily medicated she constantly drooled. I remember one morning going out of the cottage and was going to the basketball court when I saw that someone had skinned a rabbit and hung it on a stick they'd stuck on the ground...not scary at all. The food was always stale and sometimes they even forgot to deliver food to us and we were too scared to ask for it. We eventually did and they gave us chocolate milk. They made us get into the freezing cold pool where the lifeguard adamantly informed us we "had better not drown 'cause [she] would not be saving [us]." and while we were swimming there was a couple outside of the pool area having sex. I remember the showers were so filthy that often you felt more dirty coming out than going in and remember having to bring a rock to shove under the door so the other kids wouldn't be able to come in and try to touch me in the shower which the staff found funny. I do remember loving the huge mural on the wall of the kids and the orange tree. There was also a store for good behavior and a library. We went to the store every Friday and I went to the library once. We also had an Olympic event there and a HUGE banana split eating contest (I only could eat four). I tried to stay positive and I ended up getting on a high level and adapting by the time I left. I was only there about three months. Some staff were okay but most were pretty wicked at heart and should never work with children. If any of you fellow Mac'ers are interested there is a good movie that was made about a girl who ends up going to MAC (they call it McKinley Hall though) it's called WHITE OLEANDER. I would also like to see pictures of the place. I know it got shut down while I was in a group-home because they stopped threatening to make me go back there.
Omg, I remember the pool, that tree and that wall. Even that store that we can go to, I would buy candy and even clothes. Wow its all coming back now. I am totally gonna try and watch that movie you mentioned.

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