One of my favorite days on my service trip was the day we walked to the Downtown Women’s Center (DWC) and their associated retail store called MADE.
The facility is a renovated warehouse that has an apartment community exclusively for women living in Skid Row. It is a beautiful, historic facility and home to a number of women residing in the apartments. The city of Los Angeles sold the building and site to DWC for only $1 yet DWC then need to fundraise to pay for the entire renovation process. The Skid Row community is primarily pop
ulated by men and this is largely reflected in the the organizations and services. Many of the missions and shelters are only welcoming to men and do not provide services or even a bed to sleep in for women. This need was evident and a start to the solution can be found at DWC. Founded in 1978, this center is a safe space for women in SkidRow providing daily meals, housing services, clothing and other household goods, and programs to help women live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
All throughout LA, drop-off sites are set-up collection clothing primarily. The amount of donations is unbelieveable and the donations just keep coming. My group and I were faced to sort a mountain of clothing, literally. In the few hours that we helped it didn’t even seem like we made a dent in the copious amounts of donations. This was amazing to see the generosity of individuals reflected in these donations.
Right off the sidewalk is a the DWC retail space called MADE. It is a cafe and shop that sells many craft related items that are made by the women living at DWC and in their programs. The most impressive part is the fact that 100% of the proceeds from these items are given back to DWC to fund future programs and services. I picked up a couple of Christmas gifts to bring back home!