A Los Angeles-based housing program working to end homelessness for women
Downtown Women’s Center (DWC) is recognized as the only organization in Los Angeles, California focused solely on serving and empowering homeless women and formerly homeless women.
DWC was founded in 1978 by an outreach worker named Jill Halverson, who set out to fill the needs of the homeless women she encountered on Skid Row. Halverson developed a close relationship with one of the women she encountered — a woman with severe mental health issues, who was the catalyst for the Downtown Women’s Center. Thanks to the inspiring work of these two women, DWC has become an establishment where the lives of current or former homeless women can be touched and restored.
DWC’s programming highlights that, “homelessness is not inevitable, but a societal problem that bears especially hard on women.” Housing is a keystone to changing an inequitable system and improving individual lives.
Downtown Women’s Center offers the following programs:
- Permanent Supportive Housing Program
- Health & Wellness Program
- Community-Based Housing Program
- Workforce Development Program
- Advocates Program
[DWC: Advocates Program]
DWC’s Advocates Program was established in 2016 and allows DWC residents and participants to take charge of their narrative. The program is structured around the lived experiences and lives of women who are currently experiencing homelessness or formerly experienced homelessness.
The curriculum of the Advocates Program is designed so that at the end of the program, a women can feel confident in advocating for legislative and policy change that will end homelessness for all women. The Advocates Program gives women with lived experiences of homelessness, the opportunity to own their truth, their story and their expertise in knowing solutions to end homelessness.
For more information about Downtown Women's Center visit them here, downtownwomenscenter.org