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:
Los Angeles' Strategies on Homelessness
From the very beginning, 2016 was a significant year for homelessness policy in Los Angeles. Both the City and County of Los Angeles released coordinated strategies to end homelessness. We were thrilled to see women called out specifically as a sub-population with unique service needs in the City's plans, and later in the year we attended the City 2016-2017 budget signing at City Hall as $138M was allocated to housing and supportive services - a historic amount that's more than four times the amount from the year before.
DWC Advocate Amiyoko Shabazz gave a passionate speech about her experience of homelessness at the signing. Watch it here:
#LobbyDay in Sacramento
Our resident and DWC Advocate Francine Andrade attended Housing California's 2016 #LobbyDay in Sacramento with PR & Policy Coordinator Rachel Kassenbrock last year! She told her story at the offices of various Senators and Assemblymembers throughout the day, explaining how housing changed her life.
Services for Domestic Violence Recovery
We know domestic and interpersonal violence is one of the top drivers of women into homelessness; that's why we're partnering with the Hilton Foundation through a $450,000 grant to build more bridges between service providers and domestic violence recovery programs. In 2017, we're excited to expand our programming to include services for domestic violence survivors.
2016 Downtown Women's Needs Assessment
In October, the Downtown Women's Action Coalition (DWAC) launched their 2016 Downtown Women's Needs Assessment, a survey conducted every three years on the needs of women in downtown Los Angeles. We were proud to partner with DWAC, the Los Angeles Community Action Network, and the University of Southern California to release the report that has already set the stage for 2017. Check out the action agenda online!
In November, voters in the City of Los Angeles approved Proposition HHH, a bond measure that will provide $1.2B to build 8,000-10,000 affordable and permanent supportive housing units over the next 10 years - a major victory in the fight to end homelessness in Los Angeles!
New Ad Hoc Committee on Women and Homelessness
At the end of 2016, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Commission Chair Wendy Greuel announced the formation of a new ad hoc committee on women and homelessness, due to the significant increase in women's homelessness in LA County. We are proud to sit on this committee and look forward to working with the members and Commission Chair Greuel this year toward ending homelessness for women.
With a momentous 2016 behind us, we're aiming to make 2017 an even more successful year. In December, the LA County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to place a homelessness measure, Measure H, on the March 2017 ballot. If approved by voters, Measure H would generate about $355 million per year to fund homeless services, such as case management, physical and mental healthcare, and trauma recovery services, across the County. Already in high demand, there will be an even greater need for these supportive services as new housing is developed under Prop HHH.
Thanks to supporters like you, Los Angeles is poised to become a national leader in ending homelessness. We spent 2016 developing comprehensive plans to end homelessness; now, we must work together to bring them to fruition. This March, please vote YES on Measure H, and encourage others to do the same!