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A Movement for Change: 1-in-4 Los Angeles Convening

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One quarter. Twenty-five percent.

One in four homeless individuals in the United States is a woman. Yet women receive far less than their share of research, resources, or political advocacy.

For 37 years, the Downtown Women’s Center has been at the forefront of this fight, providing innovative and impactful services to bring an end to women’s homelessness.

In 2014, we were proud to partner with the American Round Table to Abolish Homelessness to organize the first-ever national conference on women’s homelessness.

The 1-in-4 Convening was held at Harvard University last October and brought together over 100 service providers, researchers, and policymakers committed to ending homelessness among women. An inspiring event, it also served as a reminder of how much is left to be done.

To build upon this national momentum, the Downtown Women’s Center recently hosted our inaugural 1-in-4 Regional Convening in Los Angeles. Thirty Southern California service providers and researchers gathered at our San Pedro Street Home. In just three hours, we envisioned a Los Angeles without women’s homelessness and brainstormed strategies to pursue in the realms of best practices promotion, research, and advocacy to help make this vision a reality.

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Defining measures of success for ending homelessness and creating a sense of belonging, recognizing the role of feminist leadership and empowerment models in successful women’s service organizations, bridging academic and community-based research, securing adequate resources to sustain programs, and initiating and sustaining political will for change were among the topics heatedly debated. The room was filled with tremendous energy and a contagious optimism;

While our task ahead is daunting, it is possible for us to end homelessness among women, and we will do so together.

The full Collaborative will meet quarterly over the next year, while Working Groups will drive action on key agenda items. A second 1-in-4 National Convening will be held in Los Angeles in October 2015. We’ll share details soon!

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* UPDATE: Check out our second regional 1-in-4 Convening recap here.


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