Opinion: A CEO that strives to make Los Angeles better
As a strong advocate for Period Poverty Prevention, I wanted to share with you about a local CEO and organization that does so much for the Los Angeles community. Amy Turk has been the director of the Downtown Women’s Center located in the Skid Row area of downtown Los Angeles. I recently caught up with Amy to discuss her thoughts on the organization she leads.
Can you tell me about the work you do for the Downtown Women’s Center and the program or programs you run?
I am the CEO of the Downtown Women’s Center (DWC) where we envision a Los Angeles with every woman sheltered and on a path to personal stability. To fulfill this vision, we provide permanent housing, wellness and health care, employment opportunities and advocacy.
How is the Downtown Women’s Center different from other organizations in Los Angeles?
DWC is the only organization in Los Angeles focused exclusively on serving and empowering women experiencing homelessness, and we support evidence-based practices such as Harm Reduction, Shelter First, and Trauma Informed Care.
What was your career path to get involved with this organization?
A volunteer experience at a women’s shelter defined my career when I was in college. After graduating with a degree in Sociology, I worked at that shelter and eventually directed the women’s programs within the organization. After 12 years in that organization and then obtaining a master’s degree in social work, I became Head of Program at DWC in 2013. Just two years ago, I was promoted at DWC to the role of Chief Executive.
What can we as teenagers do to help? What do you need?
As a teenager, my greatest hope is that you see homelessness as a failure of systems and policies rather than the failure of an individual. Everyone has a unique story that may have led to the experience of homelessness, but the solution to homelessness is affordable housing.
Please advocate with your local, state and federal elected officials to let them know that you support policy solutions to homelessness. Additionally, the women who serve at the Downtown Women’s Center tell us what they need and we keep their requests updated on our donation page. If you are able to donate items, please check out our website to see what is most wanted by women using our services.
For additional information on how you can help. Please refer to the website https://downtownwomenscenter.org