most of us don’t have to think about where we are going to get our next meal, but living in skid row i see men and women everyday who struggle for just that…food. i love living where i do, if only that it tells me how fortunate i am every single day. i own a loft right next door to the new home of the downtown women’s center (dwc), where women have been going for help and assistance since opening in 1978.

‘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.’

last year the dwc opened up a shop on the street level called made that sells gifts, pastries, food, teas and coffees. 100% of the proceeds go directly to supporting homeless and low-income women at the dwc.

the teas and coffee are from groundwork, a local downtown roaster.

food comes from room forty, ‘a restaurant without walls’ catering company. pastries are from chinatown’s homegirl cafe (helping formerly gang involved women).

the gifts range from unique ceramics, books about gardening and sustainability, and donated items such as purses, to jewelry, candles, soaps, and journals handmade from the women themselves at the dwc.

i spoke with denise, one of the volunteers since last october and fellow blogger, who told me about her favorite gift: the handmade journals. they take old books, use the pages to decoupage picture frames, and fill the bindings with with fresh blank pages.

i stopped in for a coffee and something for lunch, but also left with a blue denim coach purse i picked out for a very discounted price, just one of the many donated items to the center.

they have enough nicer donated items that can be resold they are soon to open an ‘upscale’ version of a goodwill type store in their original location on los angeles street. although made sells delicious food and wonderful coffee/tea drinks to me, what it has done to put food in my neighbor’s bellies seems more significant, and is only the beginning of what else it provides for these women.

made • 438 s. san pedro st. • los angeles, ca • 90013 

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