Last week, several of our team members at The Little Market paused on their work and drove to Downtown Los Angeles to learn more about the women at Downtown Women’s Center (DWC) who hand-pour our soap collection.
DWC is the only organization in Los Angeles focused exclusively on serving and empowering women experiencing homelessness and women who were formerly homeless. DWC seeks to end homelessness for women in the Greater Los Angeles Area through housing, wellness, employment, and advocacy.
Our team was able to meet some of the women who live at DWC, including Suzanne, who expressed her gratitude for the center and its many programs. Suzanne graduated from DWC’s workforce development program, earned her associate’s degree from a local community college, found employment as a cook at a catering company, and now leads workshops at the center. She also emphasized how many women end up living on the streets due to a variety of circumstances, including domestic violence, lack of affordable housing, job loss and unemployment, lack of social support network, mental illness, physical disability, or substance abuse.
“The Downtown Women’s Center has made so many things possible for me,” Suzanne says. “I am happy. I got my degree, and I’m working. I have my life back.”
DWC’s 5-point approach to ending homeless (a combination of housing, medical and mental health services, social networks, and financial security) has been successful, with 95 percent of the women they serve remaining housed permanently.
Our team cooked and served a healthy lunch for 200 women and sorted clothing donations. We met the lovely Ms. Shirley, who, for more than 20 years, has been working to help individuals who have experienced homelessness. Ms. Shirley told us about DWC’s shopping days, which happen three days a week and allow women to come find clothing that they need.
Our Palisades Village store manager, Latoya, previously worked at DWC as a Communications Specialist and enjoyed visiting the wonderful people at the center.
After volunteering, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit Homegirl Cafe, another one of the groups we support, while we were in Downtown Los Angeles. Our team enjoyed some delicious tacos and as well as excellent service.
To support the women at DWC, you can volunteer if you are in the Los Angeles area as well as shop our exclusive soaps, made by women at the center. Thank you to everyone who donated items and to the women behind DWC for the incredible work that they do every day!