Downtown Women’s Center
Downtown Women's Center in Los Angeles, founded in 1978 by Skid Row social worker Jill Halverson, is committed to providing homeless women with permanent supportive housing and a safe and healthy community that fosters dignity, respect, and personal stability.
As part of our 2017 Positive Change Project donations, Aura Cacia gave $30,000 to DWC in support of their Job Readiness and Supportive Employment program.
Each year this program provides about 950 women struggling with homelessness with opportunities to learn and improve skills that lead to employment — increasing their income, self-esteem, and well-being.
The DWC Learning Center, a multi-purpose computer lab and classroom open six days per week, offers ongoing classes such as Intro to Windows, Learn to Type, Microsoft Word Basic, Resume Building, Math Essentials, and Interviewing for Success.
There is also a Skills Enhancement Training (SET) program, which allows participants to specialize in one of four professional tracks: 1) inventory management; 2) retail sales; 3) café sales; and 4) product development.
After women graduate from the SET program, they may seek full or part-time employment, or opt to participate in DWC’s Supportive Transitional Employment program, in which women are employed in the two retail stores of DWC's social enterprise, MADE by DWC. (MADE by DWC carries used garments and accessories, along with jewelry, soaps, notebooks and candles hand-crafted by the women themselves.)
These training initiatives prepare participants for future employment opportunities, while providing them with other support and skills necessary to enhance their stability and well-being.