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Blog

Telling our story together.

Our Response to the Federal Budget

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At the Downtown Women's Center, we rely on federal assistance from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to operate the programs that end homelessness for women every day. One of those women, Darlene, was in her twenties when she became homeless. Forced to find a new place to live after her mother's death, Darlene struggled to find anything – Los Angeles's high rental prices and lack of affordable housing made her search impossible. What's more, Darlene lives with disabling health conditions that prevent her from holding a regular job. She spent seven years staying in parks, beaches, transitional housing, and, sometimes, the emergency room. For Darlene, an unaccompanied woman, homelessness was a dangerous, traumatic experience.

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DWC Goes to Lobby Day 2017!

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Above: Rachel and Francine arrive at the Sacramento airport for a full day of lobby visits at the Capitol!

On March 8, our PR & Policy Coordinator Rachel Kassenbrock, and DWC resident/advocate Francine Andrade descended upon the Sacramento Capitol to participate in Housing California's 2017 Lobby Day!

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Measure H Passed! What's Next?

 Measure H passed! What's next?

In November 2016, voters in Los Angeles City overwhelmingly approved Proposition HHH, a $1.2 billion housing bond to build up to 10,000 units of housing, by a margin of 76%. This result confirmed what we at the Downtown Women’s Center already knew: LA voters care deeply about the thousands of Angelenos living in cars, on our streets, and in shelters. But it also confirmed something more: LA voters don’t just care about homelessness; they believe we can end it. And together, we made a statement that we plan to do just that.

But there was more work to be done. Building the housing is the first step, but wraparound services are what keep someone housed.

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DWC Joins Historic Women's March on Washington

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On Saturday, January 21, DWC residents, participants, and staff joined approximately 750,000 others to participate in the Women's March of Los Angeles - one of the marches affiliated with the Women's March on Washington D.C. happening around the world. 

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Celebrating 2016 and Advocacy in the Year Ahead

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2016 was a year full of exciting steps forward - and all of the progress we made last year is thanks to YOU! Your support and advocacy made it possible for us to accomplish so much together.

Here's a snapshot of our year in advocating to end homelessness for women and a sneak peek at what's ahead in 2017:

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Rose Arzola Dies at 89

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Above: Rose Arzola (left) with our founder Jill Halverson

It's with a heavy heart that we announce that Rose Arzola, the inspiration for the founding of the Downtown Women’s Center, died on Monday, December 5, 2016, following health complications related to age. She was 89.

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On Ending Homelessness for Women, the 2016 Election, and Hope for the Future

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In the 1970s, our city was in the midst of a crisis. With the reality of de-institutionalization and the resulting surge of homelessness in Los Angeles came the fear that there was no way out.

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Downtown Women’s Center Receives Historic Gift of $500,000

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Above: Support from the S.L. Gimbel Foundation Advised Fund will allow DWC to provide case management services to more women.

We are thrilled to announce that this July, the S.L. Gimbel Foundation Advised Fund at The Community Foundation – Inland Southern California awarded DWC with a $500,000 grant to support our Day Center. This gift is the largest private foundation grant that DWC has ever received for programming support.

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Celebrate With Us As Our Advocates Graduate From The Pilot Program!


IMG_6230-edit.jpgAbove: Our advocates receive their scrolls at the Board of Supervisors meeting.

Our first cohort of DWC Advocates has graduated from the pilot Advocates Program, launched in May 2016! As we celebrate their accomplishments, we look back at their journeys during the program and their future goals. 

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Tribute to Mollie Lowery

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Above: Mollie Lowery inside LAMP Village in 1994. (source: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

At 23 I was struggling not only to find a career to which I would be suited, but also to understand what sort of person I wanted to be.

So many of the expectations that society places on young women still burdened me—being the best, or the smartest, or the kindest. And I wanted so badly to be good at the work of my chosen field—thinking strategically, and nurturing social change, and applying best practice.

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