Advocacy & Policy

Achieving policy change is critical to ending women’s homelessness, and we can’t do it alone.

At DWC, our advocacy and policy work is located at the intersection of homelessness and racial and gender inequity. We are guided by the following beliefs:

1

A gender equity lens is essential to addressing the unique challenges faced by women experiencing homelessness.

2

Systemic and institutional racism is a root cause of homelessness, and programs must directly acknowledge and address racial disparities.

3

Housing is inextricably linked to both physical and emotional well-being: the nexus of housing and health must be central to policy making.

4

Only by advancing permanent housing solutions can we truly eradicate homelessness.

In addition to the above, the biggest hurdle to ending women’s homelessness has been getting legislators and policymakers to recognize unaccompanied adult women as a distinct subgroup within the larger homeless population. The recognition and prioritization — both in terms of practice and funding — of other subpopulations has been linked to dramatic reductions in homelessness over the last decadeWomen experiencing homelessness have unique vulnerabilities and healthcare and job training needs; they are also far more likely than their male counterparts to have survived violence. What’s more, the number of women experiencing homelessness has risen in recent years, with women now comprising nearly one third (or 29%) of the national homeless population.

The lack of affordable housing in the Los Angeles region presents another major obstacle. Much of the country is currently in an affordable housing crisis, and Los Angeles is among its hardest-hit cities. Homelessness is impacting more and more people each year. While several measures have passed in recent years to provide extra funding for affordable housing and homeless support services, there is great work to be done yet. 

You can help us end women’s homelessness by taking these small steps with big impacts:

Don't be a NIMBY, be a YIMBY!

Homelessness has increased across Los Angeles County and affordable housing is critically needed in all neighborhoods, not just in Skid Row. Join the fight to end homelessness by saying “Yes In My Backyard!”:
 
  • Participate in and give public comment at meetings that could help sway lawmakers to change city and county policies.
  • Find out where shelters are being proposed in your district and contact your local City CouncilmemberCounty Supervisor, and other officials to show your support for these projects.
  • Contact them anyways to advocate for more affordable housing and permanent supportive housing in your community in general.
  • Encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same!

Add your voice to these on-going campaigns

  • Email your members of Congress to ask them to approve the Emergency Housing Protections & Relief Act (H.R. 7301).
  • Write to your Senators to ask them to remedy racial disparities in homelessness by sponsoring the Public Health Emergency Shelter Act (S.3856)
  • Ask your members of Congress to include increased funding for housing and homelessness services in the second Coronavirus stimulus package (CARES 2).