Ending Homelessness: Grandpoint Bank Salutes Downtown Women’s Center
It may come as no surprise that Los Angeles is the homeless capital of the world. For women, homelessness can be especially dangerous. Fortunately, in downtown Los Angeles, the Downtown Women’s Center, founded in 1978, has come up with a way to keep 95 percent of their residence program participants from ever returning to life on the streets. This remarkable organization has even managed to help women develop skills necessary to support themselves and to place custom and upcycled products made by these women onto Etsy, into the Craft & Folk Art Museum and even into Bloomingdale’s.
The mission of the Downtown Women’s Center is to provide permanent supportive housing and a safe and healthy community fostering dignity, respect and personal stability, and to advocate ending homelessness for women. As part of its mission, DWC is empowering women to discover talents and develop skills through vocational opportunities, which includes opportunities to sell their products through DWC’s Made by DWC program.
Loraine White, Executive Vice President of Grandpoint Bank, has served on the board of directors for the Downtown Women’s Center for 14 years. She was initially asked by a friend to join the board, and she was quickly moved by the meaningful mission and programs of the organization, which now serves as a model for ending homelessness throughout the country.
Loraine also served as chair of the DWC’s Cornerstone Committee, which oversaw the construction of a 71-unit, $35 million San Pedro Street residence. From conception to move-in, creating the San Pedro Street residence, the second residence building for DWC, was a five year process. DWC’s first residence building consists of 48 units on Los Angeles Street. The combined 119 units of housing makes DWC one of largest housing providers in the U.S.
“The opening of the San Pedro residence really made a difference in raising visibility and attracting support for the Downtown Women’s Center from individual donors and from companies,” said Loraine.
Loraine has also been involved with DWC’s annual Dinner With a Cause event, which, this year, attracted more than 500 guests, sponsors, donors, host committee members, volunteers and auction bidders and generated more than $800,000 for DWC.
Pictured: DWC Board President Gloria Teschner, Loraine, and DWC Board Member Patti Fischer
Funds raised for DWC support the 119-unit residence program, DWG’s Day Center Services for 200 women each day, providing 103,000 meals annually and providing case management, health/wellness and medical/mental health services for 15000 women per year.
On behalf of Lorain and Grandpoint Bank, we thank the talented and dedicated staff at Downtown Women’s Center and encourage anyone interested to get involved with this terrific organization – a wonderful group of people who are successfully addressing the serious problem of homelessness through empowerment and support.
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