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Blog

Telling our story together.

Dancing for Empowerment: Shae LeWallen

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Since September 2014, Shannon (Shae) LeWallen has been teaching Shimmy Shape Up! at the Downtown Women’s Center.

Once a week, she leads women in a 1-hour full-body workout that combines belly dance, yoga, plyometrics, and music to create a high-energy and fun fitness experience.

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Working to Reclaim Her Life

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“I want to go back to work. I want to go back to my previous life.”

These are words Alisa S. repeats throughout sharing her story. This mantra has kept her going through the past two years when she first arrived to downtown Los Angeles’ Skid Row area. 

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A Safe Space to Create: Wendy Scholl

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Volunteer Wendy Scholl (left) knitting with DWC resident Tan in a DWC Skills Enhancement Training workshop.

Five years ago, Wendy Scholl considered herself a volunteer “under the radar.”

As an attorney for Bank of America, she had been to DWC to participate in group volunteer projects organized by her work, but had never volunteered on her own. It was during a Christmas donation sorting project that Wendy learned about our Skills Enhancement Training ("SET" to Create) knitting workshop.

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Salma Hayek Visits DWC

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The Downtown Women’s Center was abuzz with excitement when we welcomed international superstar Salma Hayek Pinault to our Center in late March – an unexpected but delightful surprise to DWC residents and staff.


Where I Belong: Bess Byers

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Longtime MADE by DWC volunteer Bess Byers recently left LA to embark on a new business venture in her native Washington state. But before she hit the road, we chatted with her about the volunteer experience at the Downtown Women’s Center.

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Taking the Next Step: Stephanie Ogrodnik

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Learning Center volunteer Stephanie Ogrodnik (right) with DWC participant Dana W.

A year ago, Stephanie Ogrodnik had just moved to Los Angeles from Philadelphia.

She was living in the middle of bustling Hollywood and was immediately struck by how great the needs of her homeless neighbors were. She began researching local homeless organizations to get involved with, and was drawn to the Downtown Women’s Center.

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What Every Woman Needs to Know About HIV/AIDS

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March 10th marks the 10th observance of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day! The Downtown Women’s Center proudly supports efforts to empower each other with information about HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment.

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Two Women Who Changed the Game

This month we celebrate the accomplishments of trailblazing women who have left their mark in the United States. At the Downtown Women’s Center, we celebrate Women’s History Month with a special tribute to the two women who started it all – Rose and Jill, pioneers in the work to end homelessness for women.

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How to Improve the Health of Older Homeless Women

Half of the homeless women living in downtown Los Angeles’ Skid Row are over the age of 51.

Study after study also shows that homelessness takes a serious toll on a person’s health. Older homeless adults disproportionately use emergency rooms due to complex health problems and a lack of housing, and they have a life expectancy in the low 60s.

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Our Response to a Community Tragedy

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(Image from original cellphone video. Los Angeles Police Department)

The Downtown Women’s Center was shocked and saddened to learn of the shooting death of Africa (Charley Saturmin Robinet) on Sunday.

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