Amy Turk, LCSW
Chief Executive Officer
Amy Turk is the Chief Executive Officer of the Downtown Women’s Center (DWC), the only organization in Los Angeles focused exclusively on serving and empowering women experiencing homelessness. Serving 5000 women each year, DWC envisions a Los Angeles with every woman housed and on a path to personal stability.
Amy has worked in the homeless services and mental health field since 2001, including for five years as DWC’s Chief Program Officer, where she administered five programs serving over 3,000 adult women experiencing homelessness and led 80 staff members with oversight of a $6 million budget. In 2018, Amy was named DWC’s Chief Innovation Officer, providing strategic leadership for the development of new organizational projects and fostering of vital community partners. In this role, Amy doubled the amount of supportive housing units for women across Los Angeles, grew a body of knowledge around implementing Trauma Informed Care, and created the Domestic Violence Homeless Services Coalition.
Prior to joining DWC, she was the Director of Daybreak, a project of The People Concern in Santa Monica, California, serving women experiencing homelessness through shelter, housing, and supportive day programming.
She is a John A. Hartford Foundation Practice Change Leader award recipient for her efforts to improve healthcare for older adults experiencing homelessness, one of the founders of 1-in-4, a national social change movement to end homelessness among women, and the Board Chair for Los Angeles Central Providers Collaborative. Amy holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Pepperdine University and a master’s in social work from California State University, Los Angeles.
Ask Me About
Trauma-Informed Care and Resiliency Community Building, my favorite researchers on homelessness, and feminist cross-stitch patterns.
Proudest Moment Working for DWC
My proudest moment was when one of our participants, who previously said she was too scared to share her talents with our community, decided to sing a beautiful song in front of all of her peers. She approached me at our monthly community meeting and asked if she could sing to the others. She now attributes that moment as giving her the courage to speak up as an advocate to policy makers and serve on behalf of the women at DWC as Chair of our Resident and Participant Advisory Board.