Serving the historically underserved
Housing Justice Program
piloted as project 100
The Housing Justice Program (piloted as Project 100) is one of DWC’s newest programs, launched in October 2019 in coordination with the Los Angeles Office of the Mayor, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), Enterprise Community Partners, and other homeless service sector partners.
This innovative program aims to provide culturally responsive services to 100 unhoused women living in Skid Row, who have experienced long-term homelessness and have been historically underserved by traditional housing programs. Women housed through the Housing Justice Program have access to a variety of wrap-around supportive services, including:
- Housing specialists to assist with housing navigation and retention.
- Peer specialists with lived experience and knowledge of community resources.
- Employment coordinators to alleviate barriers to gainful employment.
- Clinicians to provide trauma-informed, culturally responsive emotional support in individual and group settings.
The Housing Justice Program is dedicated to implementing the recommendations of the LAHSA Ad Hoc Committee on Black People Experiencing Homelessness and the LAHSA Ad Hoc Committee on Women Experiencing Homelessness.
Together, these reports found that education, housing, healthcare, and employment policies over time have led to deep inequities, racial disparities, and systemic racism among people experiencing homelessness. For this reason, the Housing Justice Program was designed to enhance existing service models to quickly and permanently house 100 of Skid Row’s most vulnerable female residents. DWC and the Housing Justice Program celebrated their first three move-ins in May 2020, with special support from LAHSA Commissioners Sarah Dusseault, Jacqueline Waggoner, and Wendy Greuel.
IMPACT IN 2020
“The impact of institutional and structural racism in education, criminal justice, housing, employment, health care, and access to opportunities cannot be denied: homelessness is a by-product of racism in America.”
LAHSA AD HOC COMMITTEE ON BLACK PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS
- Black and African American individuals are more likely than their White counterparts to experience homelessness. The 2020 LAHSA Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count found that they accounted for a disproportionate 33.7% of the regional homeless population compared to their 7.9% share of the County’s general population.
- This trend also affects women experiencing homeless. In the DWC 2019 Los Angeles City Women’s Needs Assessment Black women comprised 28.7% of respondents across Los Angeles County and 39.7% of female-identifying Skid Row residents.
- Increases in homelessness have disproportionately affected women. The 2020 Homeless Count registered a 16% rise in women’s homelessness from 2019, such that women now represent nearly one third (or 32.4%) of Los Angeles County’s population experiencing homelessness.
- Women experiencing homeless are also especially vulnerable to different forms of gender-based and interpersonal violence. 60% of women surveyed in our 2019 Needs Assessment reported experiencing violence in the last year.
Learn more about how you and your organization can support the women of the Housing Justice Program.