Downtown Womens Center

Rating: 4.2 stars   5 reviews


442 S San Pedro St Los Angeles CA 90013 USA


To provide permanent supportive housing and a safe and healthy community fostering dignity, respect, and personal stability, and to advocate ending homelessness for women.


Drop-in day center: for women living on the streets or in night-to-night shelters, the dwc day center provides a respite from the rigors of the street while providing a combination of services to address individual needs, including meals, showers, clothing, laundry, phone, mail, and other vital services. In addition, dwc offers education and job readiness resources aimed at breaking the cycles of unemployment and homelessness. In 2014, the following milestones were achieved; dwc:- provided over 110,000 meals to those in need. - created a safe oasis for 4,000 women and a permanent supportive home for 119 formerly homeless women. - provided nearly 8,000 case management sessions to ensure that each woman has an individualized service plan tailored to her needs. - offered basic medical care, mammograms, and women's health services, hiv screenings, and physical and mental health assessments to 900 women through skid row's only women's medical and mental health center. - assisted nearly 1,000 women with education and job readiness resources through the learning center and computer lab; classes in computer skills, literacy, and math; and academic and vocational counseling. - placed 44 women in employment opportunities. - provided 20,000 showers, along with day rest beds, changes of clothing, laundry, phone, and mail services in the drop-in day center. - placed 26 female veterans and their children in housing. - surpassed 25,000 annual volunteer hours and 5,200 volunteers. - launched the first national convening on women's homelessness, entitled "1-in-4" to gather service providers, researchers, and policymakers to bring attention to this under-recognized group. - helped break the cycle of homelessness by ensuring that 95% of the women dwc houses stay housed permanently.

permanent supportive housing: dwc's two residences provide 119 units of permanent supportive affordable housing for elderly, chronically mentally ill, and/or physically disabled formerly homeless women to live in safety and dignity. A range of counseling and housing services - including the first-in-los angeles implementation of critical time intervention (cti), an internationally recognized evidence-based practice in permanent housing stabilization - help women on skid row end the cycle of homelessness by finding and staying in housing.

health and well-being: dwc offers medical care, mental health services, and enrichment activities focused on overall health and social connectedness. These include basic medical care, mammograms and women's health services, hiv screenings, and physical and mental health assessments; preventive care to reduce diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and other chronic diseases prevalent in this population; psychiatric sessions, mental health counseling, and group therapy; and self-care workshops, fitness classes, and cultural outings provided by volunteers and donors.

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(213) 680-0600

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Reviews for Downtown Womens Center

Rating: 5 stars  

Please note that Charity Navigator does not fully reflect all that was happening at the Downtown Women's Center in 2009 -- most notably, the fund-raising for and construction of an expanded home for the organization. Now open, the building renovated with proceeds of DWC's 2009 capital campaign has increased DWC's permanent housing from 47 to 71 units, added a medical and mental health clinic, and provided approximately 75% more space for Day Center programs, including meals, shower facilities, workshops, and case management. In January 2011, the first full month that the building was open, nearly 6400 meals were served, already more than twice the number served in January of the prior year.

While the larger site has allowed DWC to greatly expand its programs, the millions of dollars raised and used for the site's renovation are not reported as a program expense. However, the cost of raising money for the renovation was reported as a fund-raising expense. As a result, 2009 fund-raising expenses appeared high compared to program expenses and DWC's rating was downgraded from 4 stars to 3 stars. However, capital campaign fund-raising expenditures in 2009 raised funds to help provide a much larger building, ultimately allowing DWC's programs to serve far more women and serve them better.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As a Board member and a twice a week volunteer working with DWC participants over several years, I have seen how access to comfortable stable housing, regular meals, case management, mental health services, job training, and participation in the supportive DWC community has immensely improved the lives of many women who had been living in extreme poverty.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand its services to help more women escape or avoid homelessness.

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