They’re coming for us and it ain’t good Read the Downtown Women’s Action Coalition’s response to Judge Carter’s injunction. We want to see permanent housing. NOT displacement. NOT enforcement. NOT shelters. Read the latest Why can’t Garcetti talk to Black people in Skid Row? Read the latest on our work to make sure Black women on Skid Row are prioritized in Mayor Garcetti's plans. We've been writing and writing and have not heard back. Garcetti is talking loud and saying nothing. Read the update Skid Row a message of love purple background Open letter to the mayor LA CAN and DWAC demand Mayor Garcetti and the city of Los Angeles stop ignoring the needs of LA’s most vulnerable populations. Unhoused Black and Brown women need emergency housing and access to public health services. Stop ignoring the needs of women. Negligence is deadly. Read the letter bokchoy Looking ahead to 2022 Looking ahead to next year’s election season, Skid Row-based nonprofit Los Angeles Community Action Network will soon begin a non-partisan dialogue and education effort informing Angelenos about where local elected officials stand on homeless issues Read more Freedom Now Hosts and Guest Appearances Watch Our Freedom Now Celebration Missed our Freedom Now broadcast? You can still catch the show! Gather your loved ones online and host a watch party. Help us hit our one million dollar goal! Watch Freedom Now

Mission Statement

The mission of LA CAN is to help people dealing with poverty create & discover opportunities, while serving as a vehicle to ensure we have voice, power & opinion in the decisions that are directly affecting us.

The Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA CAN) was formed in 1999 when 25 residents of Downtown Los Angeles came together and acknowledged the issues that existed in our community. We made a commitment to address those problems by organizing and becoming a force that demands change. Today we work on a variety of initiatives and projects across Skid Row and South Central LA.

EcoHood

LA CAN maintains that Housing is a Human Right and has engaged in preserving and improving extremely low-income housing since our inception. EcoHood is the newest extension of LA CAN’s critical housing work.

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A snippet of Monique Noel’s scathing and necessary speech, which is essentially a call to action. She reminds us that performative gestures alone won’t lead to housing for black women. See MoreSee Less

DWAC STATEMENT
Judge Carter, in his preliminary injunction (LA Alliance v City of Los Angeles), details a number of the harms and injuries that Black people have suffered, how they’ve been set back and in some instances, who’s to blame. He discusses the impact of homelessness on women, lifts some experiences of Black women and provides examples of why shelters are dangerous and BAD for women.

Curiously, in his conclusion however, he prescribes a spectacular serving of the same paltry offerings that he earlier criticized. Forcing women, with what he hoped would be immediate effect, into inadequate shelter living. Why the preceding 90+ pages acknowledging the quicksand land of racial injustice? Was this just a wordy pacifier? A distraction for the gut punch looming in the ‘grand plan’ for DTLA’s Skid Row? A prime location inhabited by the Black people he says have been wronged for too long? And while protecting business community heavy plaintiffs from irreparable injury, an all too familiar trade-off appears: uproot the unhoused, at lightning speed into …shelters. Starting with women and children. Because, ladies first.

We are opposed to: anything less than an offer of PERMANENT, DIGNIFIED, AFFORDABLE (to those who have had everything snatched from them (land, rights, lives) who as a result have zero income) HOUSING. Any solutions must correct and repair the intentional and deliberate harms done to poor, Black communities.

Anything short of this is a slap in the face of racial justice; a continuation of structural racism and a blatant disregard to the need of unhoused Black women in Skid Row (who have suffered inconceivable trauma) to be safe and have equal access to healthy living. Who in fact, want not merely to survive but the opportunity to THRIVE.

Being unhoused, on the streets is not a choice. It doesn’t occur because “she made bad decisions”, “she’s an addict… got mental health issues… doesn’t want housing”. It occurs because of organized, widespread, racist legislative and judicial leanings which created an unjust reality that permeates EVERY institution in our society.

A set of rules exist, a practice understood and adopted by ALL government agencies that Black people mustn’t make it. So the disproportionate number of Black women you see on Skid Row, is not by fault or choice of the women, it’s by will and choice of those who run our cities – it’s intentional. Black women have been locked out of the housing market, rejected by the education system, suffer discrimination in employment, pursued by law enforcement, denied healthcare, experimented on, had their babies stolen…All agents of the system got the memo. All operate with impunity, because protectors of the status quo will always find them to have acted reasonably and within their rule books.

Black people have suffered a rampant denial of EVERYTHING that you need to lead a healthy, prosperous, free life. This unimaginable violence takes its toll, it alters your DNA and leaves an imprint in your mind on your spirit, body and soul. The denial of being human (which Black people have been continuously denied, and remember, Skid Row is predominantly Black) is one of the deadliest, sustained, uninterrupted programs of terrorism in the US.

DWAC have undertaken numerous studies on the needs of unhoused women in Skid Row, who are, yes, overwhelmingly Black. At the top of all their needs is permanent, dignified, housing. Our reports illustrate anything less than that puts women at risk and ignores the structural causes and deliberate, violent, systemic operations that put women on the streets and keeps them there.

Women have given countless reasons as to why they feel unsafe, disrespected and unwelcome in shelters – it’s not permanent, it’s not theirs and they are treated like an unwanted criminal in these environments, many even losing the most precious of gifts in shelters – their babies. Our surveys have found that few women move from shelter to housing, so shelters do not help houseless women to find permanent housing.

ALL power yielders, who make decisions that affect our lives, don’t get to write about or give speeches on structural racism, segregation, redlining, racist policing …or proclaim that Black Lives Matter while their actions hold up and reinforce the systems they denounce.

We see past the trickery, naming something doesn’t equate to or establish a commitment to being against it. Actions specific to Skid Row offer no real help or remedy. If you talk about justice for Black people, you have to talk about repairing the harms. Inadequate housing and more policing doesn’t repair harms. Shelters do not end homelessness. You cannot claim to end homelessness by forcing people to go to shelters. Instead, you are just moving people out of sight to satisfy business interests.

Women have been loud and clear about their experiences and their needs. If the Judge is truly committed to justice for women in Skid Row he’ll push for what they recommend, not what business owners and gentrifiers want – which is to not see them; have them taken away and making it illegal to come back.

Permanent housing. NOT displacement. NOT enforcement. NOT shelters.

We see the set up and we’re here for the fight. It’s OUR lives.
See MoreSee Less

DWAC STATEMENT
Judge Carter, in his preliminary injunction (LA Alliance v City of Los Angeles), details a number of the harms and injuries that Black people have suffered, how they’ve been set back and in some instances, who’s to blame. He discusses the impact of homelessness on women, lifts some experiences of Black women and provides examples of why shelters are dangerous and BAD for women. 
 
Curiously, in his conclusion however, he prescribes a spectacular serving of the same paltry offerings that he earlier criticized. Forcing women, with what he hoped would be immediate effect, into inadequate shelter living. Why the preceding 90+ pages acknowledging the quicksand land of racial injustice? Was this just a wordy pacifier? A distraction for the gut punch looming in the ‘grand plan’ for DTLA’s Skid Row? A prime location inhabited by the Black people he says have been wronged for too long? And while protecting business community heavy plaintiffs from irreparable injury, an all too familiar trade-off appears: uproot the unhoused, at lightning speed into ...shelters. Starting with women and children. Because, ladies first.
 
We are opposed to: anything less than an offer of PERMANENT, DIGNIFIED, AFFORDABLE (to those who have had everything snatched from them (land, rights, lives) who as a result have zero income) HOUSING. Any solutions must correct and repair the intentional and deliberate harms done to poor, Black communities.
 
Anything short of this is a slap in the face of racial justice; a continuation of structural racism and a blatant disregard to the need of unhoused Black women in Skid Row (who have suffered inconceivable trauma) to be safe and have equal access to healthy living. Who in fact, want not merely to survive but the opportunity to THRIVE.
 
Being unhoused, on the streets is not a choice. It doesn’t occur because “she made bad decisions”, “she’s an addict... got mental health issues... doesn’t want housing”. It occurs because of organized, widespread, racist legislative and judicial leanings which created an unjust reality that permeates EVERY institution in our society. 
 
A set of rules exist, a practice understood and adopted by ALL government agencies that Black people mustn’t make it. So the disproportionate number of Black women you see on Skid Row, is not by fault or choice of the women, it’s by will and choice of those who run our cities - it’s intentional. Black women have been locked out of the housing market, rejected by the education system, suffer discrimination in employment, pursued by law enforcement, denied healthcare, experimented on, had their babies stolen...All agents of the system got the memo.  All operate with impunity, because protectors of the status quo will always find them to have acted reasonably and within their rule books.
 
Black people have suffered a rampant denial of EVERYTHING that you need to lead a healthy, prosperous, free life. This unimaginable violence takes its toll, it alters your DNA and leaves an imprint in your mind on your spirit, body and soul. The denial of being human (which Black people have been continuously denied, and remember, Skid Row is predominantly Black) is one of the deadliest, sustained, uninterrupted programs of terrorism in the US.
 
DWAC have undertaken numerous studies on the needs of unhoused women in Skid Row, who are, yes, overwhelmingly Black. At the top of all their needs is permanent, dignified, housing. Our reports illustrate anything less than that puts women at risk and ignores the structural causes and deliberate, violent, systemic operations that put women on the streets and keeps them there.
 
Women have given countless reasons as to why they feel unsafe, disrespected and unwelcome in shelters - it’s not permanent, it’s not theirs and they are treated like an unwanted criminal in these environments, many even losing the most precious of gifts in shelters - their babies. Our surveys have found that few women move from shelter to housing, so shelters do not help houseless women to find permanent housing.
 
ALL power yielders, who make decisions that affect our lives, don’t get to write about or give speeches on structural racism, segregation, redlining, racist policing ...or proclaim that Black Lives Matter while their actions hold up and reinforce the systems they denounce.
 
We see past the trickery, naming something doesn’t equate to or establish a commitment to being against it. Actions specific to Skid Row offer no real help or remedy. If you talk about justice for Black people, you have to talk about repairing the harms. Inadequate housing and more policing doesn’t repair harms. Shelters do not end homelessness. You cannot claim to end homelessness by forcing people to go to shelters. Instead, you are just moving people out of sight to satisfy business interests.
 
Women have been loud and clear about their experiences and their needs. If the Judge is truly committed to justice for women in Skid Row he’ll push for what they recommend, not what business owners and gentrifiers want - which is to not see them; have them taken away and making it illegal to come back. 
 
Permanent housing. NOT displacement. NOT enforcement. NOT shelters.
 
We see the set up and we’re here for the fight. It’s OUR lives.

Check out our tenant workshops with Stay Housed Los Angeles County every Wednesday at 4:30 to learn more about what protections you have as a tenant. The Covid-19 pandemic has left many at increased risk of eviction. Sign up at stayhousedla.org if you have questions about steps you can take to #stayhoused. See MoreSee Less

Check out our tenant workshops with Stay Housed Los Angeles County every Wednesday at 4:30 to learn more about what protections you have as a tenant. The Covid-19 pandemic has left many at increased risk of eviction. Sign up at stayhousedla.org if you have questions about steps you can take to #stayhoused.

Still going strong a year later! LA CAN SHOWS UP FOR COMMUNITY! See MoreSee Less

Learn About the Issues

Become a part of a movement to end poverty create and create opportunity. Learn more about the issues that impact us all and ways that you can make a difference in solving them.

Become An Organizer

We change problems together. Join LA CAN in ensuring that we have voice, power and opinion in the decisions that are directly affecting us.

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Follow LA CAN on all of our social media channels and stay up-to-date on the latest news and developments.

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Show off your support of LA CAN by purchasing our latest merchandise that directly supports our local and national organizing efforts.

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Become A Member

LA CAN members are low-income Angelenos who join us to build organization within our communities in order amass the power necessary to bring about social, civil and economic justice.

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Over the years, we added core projects addressing women’s rights, the human right to housing, and healthy food access. LA CAN also has projects focused on economic development, civic participation and voter engagement, and community media.

Climate Change
Food Security
Crisis Support

Facts about LA CAN

LA CAN has been a strong and visible leader in promoting and defending human rights in Downtown and South LA, with additional impacts regionally, nationally and internationally.
Facts

Reversed a unanimously-passed redevelopment plan, preventing displacement for almost 9,000 low-income households

Facts

Significantly improved health and safety conditions in more than 2,000 homes previously in slum conditions

Facts

Eliminated the guest fee practice in more than 2,500 homes, saving tenants from an unjust charge

Facts

Organized community-lawyering projects that resulted in 2.84 million dollars

what people say

LA CAN provides legal assistance and organizes to protect poor communities against illegal evictions.They do a great job focusing on many areas of poverty, housing, civil rights and community health.

Angela Smith

Angela Smith

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