Please signal boost this!
My dear friend Audrey works at the Downtown Women’s Center. They provide a day shelter and residence to homeless women all over Los Angeles. They also serve hot meals, offer vocational and educational training, and have shower facilities, among many other wonderful services.
Right now, they are in desperate need of hygiene supplies. I told her I’d be happy to signal boost it to the Tumblr community. Here’s what she wrote me:
Since the Downtown Women’s Center opened in 1978, we have offered homeless and low-income women in Los Angeles the resources they need to reconnect with their sense of self and work toward achieving personal stability. Today, one-third of the 55,000 homeless individuals in Los Angeles County are women. DWC is the only nonprofit on Los Angeles’ Skid Row dedicated to serving the unique needs of homeless women. In 2011, the Center served more than 4300 women: We provided over 85,000 meals; offered permanent, supportive housing for 71 formerly homeless women; and helped break the cycle of homelessness through case management, counseling, and educational and vocational training.
Along with those services, DWC provides showers and clean clothing, which allow women on Skid Row to maintain their dignity, even as they face undignified living conditions. Unfortunately, amid all of this success, we know that there is more to be done. In the Day Center, we are seeing the impact the Great Recession as a growing population of newly homeless women is arriving downtown. Moreover, as more women end up on Skid Row, funding cuts for shelters and other community resources have led to a decrease in services; some of the local shelters have had to make the difficult decision to stop serving breakfast or charging for shelter beds.
Each day, we see more women stepping through DWC’s doors for the first time. We are grateful to be able to provide services for these women, and we hope that you will be able to help in our work. In the first three months of 2012, we provided 8,900 hygiene kits from donations of supplies, allowing women to take on-site showers before accessing other services. We are currently in great need of the following hygiene supplies to keep up with demand:
- bar soap
DWC accepts donations at 442 S. San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013, during the Day Center’s hours: weekdays from 6 am to 4 pm and weekends from 8 am to 2 pm. Come by to drop off donations, or contact us if you have any questions at email@example.com or (213) 680-0600.
*** Also, we just launched our mammogram program! Take that, people trying to cut health services for low-income women! And here’s a link to donate cash moneys. (If people do that, tell them to put your name/STFU in the “in honor of” field, so I can let you know.) ***
When Audrey emailed me, I went through all my bathroom cabinets and drawers and was frankly shocked at how many hotel shampoos, travel toothpastes, and old soaps and bottles of lotion I had lying around. Extra space AND finding a new home for products I wasn’t using, all while helping homeless women in my city? Feels pretty good.
If you have access to these kinds of products in bulk, that’d be fantastic, but if you’re just in the mood to do some spring cleaning, this is a great way to clear out your medicine cabinet. They accept products that have already been opened/partially used as long as they’re not expired. You can drop them off if you’re in town or mail them (the Center does not pay shipping costs, but whatever you donate is a tax writeoff). You can also click the link she posted to give money.
And if you can’t help, please reblog and signal boost! Thanks folks!
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