LOS ANGELES – Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion authored by Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District, and co-authored by Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell to explore the feasibility of leveraging existing and new housing resources to support the Downtown Women’s Center’s “Every Woman Housed” plan to end homelessness for the 655 women and families residing on Skid Row.
“Given the surge in domestic violence and the number of women forced to leave the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic, we expect that the 2022 homeless point-in-time count will show a significant increase in unhoused women in the County,” shared Chair Solis. “As such, the County is committed to addressing homelessness among vulnerable residents like women and children and leveraging resources to secure safe housing options that will keep them off the streets.”
A lack of stable housing increases women’s vulnerability to violence, exacerbating the trauma many unhoused women have already experienced. According to the 2019 Women Needs Assessment conducted by the Downtown Women’s Center around 41.3% of chronically homeless women sleep most frequently on the streets. These women are more likely to have experienced sexual violence: 42.2% had been sexually assaulted in their lifetimes and 26.7% had experienced sexual assault in the last year.
“I am proud to join Board Chair, Hilda Solis in co-authoring this motion to better assist women and their families who are impacted by the homelessness crisis,” shared Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. “This is a critical first step toward fully addressing the needs of women living on Skid Row, who are disproportionately Black women and survivors of domestic violence and trauma. Effectively solving this crisis will require multiple programs and strategies tailored to the different needs and realities of people experiencing homelessness.”
Between 2013 and 2020, the number of women experiencing homelessness has grown from 12,449 to 21,129- an almost 70% increase in only 7 years. The Downtown Women’s Center has released a roadmap for how the County can work towards ending homelessness among the 655 women and families on Skid Row.
“Supervisor Solis has been a tireless champion for greater recognition and resources for women experiencing homelessness,” said Downtown Women’s Center CEO Amy Turk. “The Supervisor’s motion in support of Downtown Women’s Center’s ‘Every Woman Housed Action Plan for Women and Families in Skid Row’ is a historic first step toward permanently ending homelessness for the 600 unsheltered women in Skid Row.”
The passage of this motion directs the County’s Homelessness Initiative, in consultation with other departments and community stakeholders, to report back in 45 days on the feasibility of leveraging existing and new housing resources to support the implementation of Downtown Women’s Center “Every Woman Housed” plan. The plan includes locating landlords for rapid rehousing, increasing financial resources for women, creating linkages to mental health and substance abuse treatment beds, providing interim housing, and accessing housing choice vouchers. The report would also include recommendations for a task force to oversee implementation of the plan.
To view the full motion, click here.
Stephany Villaseñor, Communications Deputy, (213) 308-9017 or SVillasenor@bos.lacounty.gov