2010 Downtown Women’s Needs Assessment
The Downtown Women’s Action Coalition (DWAC) recently released the 2010 Downtown Women’s Needs Assessment, the fourth in a series of surveys focusing on the needs, characteristics, and conditions facing homeless and other very low-income women living downtown.
Click HERE to view the report.
As the fastest growing segment of the homeless population in the United States, women face unique challenges and barriers. Nowhere is the issue of homelessness more critical and transparent than in L.A.’s Skid Row community. Of this population, perhaps the most underserved and overlooked segment are homeless, formerly homeless, and very low-income women.
The purpose of the needs assessment is: 1) to provide updated data on the most immediate issues and needs of women living downtown, and 2) to provide much needed information and analysis about violence against women, gaps in women’s health, and the ever growing need for affordable, permanent housing.
Here are just a few of the findings from the 2010 assessment:
- 39.3% of surveyed women stated they were homeless for five years or more, a ten percent jump from the 2007 survey.
- In the past year, a majority (62%) of women had slept in an emergency or transitional shelter, and over 50% had slept on the streets, in an abandoned building, a vehicle, or a park.
- 72.8% of the women surveyed identified affordable permanent housing as the biggest need in the community.
- Nearly half (49.3%) of the women surveyed had faced sexual assault, domestic violence or child abuse in their lifetime. Of these women, a shocking 72.3% said that they were not offered services or help to deal with the after-effects of the violence.
- Nearly a third (30.8%) of the women surveyed had received a ticket or citation in the past year. 50% of the infractions were for jaywalking. Pedestrian signal violations can cost between $159 and $191 – a steep cost for individuals on a monthly fixed income ranging from $200 to $800, or with no income at all. If citations go unpaid, a warrant for arrest can be issued which, in turn, jeopardizes an individual’s ability to access or maintain housing.