According to 2020 federal data, there are more than 160,000 unhoused residents in the State of California. The Skid Row community comprises 55 square blocks in the middle of Downtown Los Angeles which serves as home to 4,600 unhoused residents — the highest concentration of unhoused individuals nationwide. 

In 2018, Mayor Eric Garcetti created the Mayor's Office of City Homelessness Initiatives  (MOCHI) as part of the comprehensive strategy to end homelessness in Los Angeles. A key component to this strategy was the creation of the Skid Row Strategies Team. The Skid Row Strategies Team is fully dedicated to developing key strategies, transformative policy, and collaborative relationships to transition the Skid Row community to a safe, healthy environment. As part of the Skid Row Strategies, Mayor Garcetti’s Office of City Homeless Initiatives has implemented a number of community-initiated programs and services to increase the quality of life of this community and the capacity of supportive services for our most vulnerable populations.

Skid Row Programs

 Skid Row Programs

The ReFresh Spot

The ReFresh Spot

The ReFreshSpot offers a safe space for the Skid Row community to access showers, restrooms, laundry, phone charging, and drinking water. It is a public facility open 24/7 to anyone in the community. Much-needed supplies are also distributed, including: hygiene and wound care kits, socks, undergarments, overdose prevention kits, pet supplies, and more.

The ReFresh Spot provides a place for people to get their basic needs met with dignity and is a collaborative project operated by Homeless Healthcare Los Angeles (HHCLA), with support from Social Model Recovery Systems and Goodwill of Southern California.

  • The ReFresh Spot: 544 Towne Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90013

The Bins

The Bins

Through partnerships with the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), Chrysalis manages several safe storage programs throughout Downtown Los Angeles. The Bin is a place where individuals may access free, secure, personal storage. Between the location on San Pedro Street and the original location on Towne Avenue, there are now 2,550 units of safe storage accessible in the Skid Row neighborhood.

 
  • The Bin @ San Pedro: 540 San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013(1,100 Bins)
  • The Bin @ Towne: 507 Towne Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90013 (1,550 Bins)

Skid Row Clean Team

The Bins

Through a partnership with the City of Los Angeles and Urban Alchemy, the Skid Row Clean Team program has been effective at remediating trash and debris while positively engaging with people experiencing homelessness. Additionally, they provide training, employment, career, and workforce development to prevent future homelessness to some of our most vulnerable Skid Row community members.

The Pit Stops

The Bins

Through a partnership with the City of Los Angeles and Urban Alchemy, The Pit Stops provide a safe place to access restroom services throughout the day, and in some locations, 24 hours seven days a week throughout the Skid Row. Additionally, they provide training, employment, and career development in an effort to prevent future homelessness.

The Cooling Centers

The Bins

Skid Row Cooling Centers work to address the escalating health crisis of heat exposure by installing temporary and staffed “Cooling Canopies'' throughout the neighborhood that are activated during the hottest summer months. Providing emergency relief to unhoused residents, services at the “Cooling Canopies” include shade, water, sun protection products, ice, and mist.

The Cooling Centers were staffed by Urban Alchemy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and provided a point of connection for Skid Row community members.

In summer 2021, these Cooling Centers were activated from July until October at the following locations:

  • 5th & San Pedro
  • 5th & Towne
  • 6th & San Pedro (by Midnight Mission)
  • 531 Towne (in front of ReFresh Spot)
Skid Row Programs

 Skid Row Interim and Permanent Housing

The Housing Justice Program (Project 100 Pilot)

The Bins

The Housing Justice Program, piloted as Project 100, is dedicated to implementing the recommendations of the LAHSA Ad Hoc Committee on Black People Experiencing Homelessness and the LAHSA Ad Hoc Committee on Women Experiencing Homelessness. Together, these reports found that education, housing, healthcare, and employment policies over time have led to deep inequities, racial disparities, and systemic racism among people experiencing homelessness. The reports further demonstrated disparities among housing outcomes for Black women in particular. For this reason, Project 100 was designed to enhance existing service models to quickly and permanently house 100 of Skid Row’s most vulnerable female-identifying residents while co-designing an enhanced culturally responsive model to help women stay and thrive in housing. 

With nearly 2,000 women facing homelessness on any given night in the Skid Row community, supporting 100 women was never a satisfactory result. Still, it was the start of a scalable model to serve more. This innovative program aims to provide culturally responsive services to 100 unhoused women living in Skid Row who have experienced long-term homelessness and have been historically underserved by traditional housing programs. 

Women housed through the Housing Justice Program have access to a variety of wrap-around supportive services, including: 

  • Housing specialists to assist with housing navigation and retention
  • Peer specialists with lived experience and knowledge of community resources
  • Employment coordinators to alleviate barriers to gainful employment
  • Clinicians to provide trauma-informed, culturally responsive emotional support in individual and group settings 

Once the Project 100 pilot was completed, the program was renamed The Housing Justice Program.

 

HHH Projects

HHH Projects

Mayor Garcetti led the coalition to pass Proposition HHH, a $1.2 billion bond to more than triple L.A.'s annual production of supportive housing and help build approximately 10,000 units for homeless Angelenos across the city.  

The solution to homelessness is housing, which is why it is vital to bring permanent supportive housing developments to the Skid Row community. This has been made possible by Proposition HHH. There are currently three projects completed and open, totalling in 132 supportive housing units. In addition, there are four projects that are currently in construction, which will result in 463 supportive housing units. There is also one project that is estimated to begin construction in November 2022 which will result in 83 supportive housing units (678 supportive housing units in total). 

HHH Project

Developer

Council District

Total Units Supportive Housing Units Prop HHH Funding Amount Status

649 Lofts

Skid Row Housing Trust

14

55 28 $5,500,000 Completed

SP7 Apartments

Skid Row Housing Trust

14

100 55 $12,000,000 Completed
Flor 401 Lofts Skid Row Housing Trust

14

99 49 $11,980,000 Completed
Weingart Tower A-134  Chelsea Investment Corporation 14 134 133 $16,000,000 In Construction
Weingart Tower A-144 Lower  Chelsea Investment Corporation 14 144 143 $16,000,000 In Construction
Weingart Tower 1B Chelsea Investment Corporation 14 104 83 $16,000,000 Not Yet In Construction
6th and San Julian Mercy Housing California 14 94 93 $12,918,436 In Construction
803 E. 5th St Coalition for Responsible Community Development 14 95 94 $15,120,000 In Construction

Housing Resources in Skid Row

Skid Row Missions

Skid Row Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Housing

  • SRO Housing Corporation 
  • Skid Row Development Corporation
  • Skid Row Housing Trust
  • Healthy Housing Foundation
  • Independently owned and operated SRO’s 

Skid Row Partners Highlight

Chrysalis

Chrysalis

Chrysalis is a nonprofit organization and employment social enterprise that serves people navigating barriers to the workforce. The organization welcomes all working age adults, including community members with limited employment history, unstable housing, or experience with homelessness and/or justice system involvement. Through its job-readiness program, individualized supportive services, and paid transitional jobs, Chrysalis focuses on empowering clients on their pathway to stability, security, and fulfillment in their work and lives.

CORE

CORE

Founded by Sean Penn and Ann Lee,CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) is a global crisis response organization that brings immediate aid and long-term recovery solutions to underserved communities. Driven by a diverse, female-led team, CORE acts quickly in the face of disaster to mobilize community members and leaders. CORE has been on the frontlines from the beginning of the pandemic, providing free testing, vaccines, and support services to vulnerable communities across the U.S. and globally.
Downtown Women’s Center

Downtown Women’s Center

The Downtown Women’s Center (DWC) is the only organization in Los Angeles focused exclusively on serving and empowering women experiencing homelessness and formerly homeless women. DWC’s mission is to end homelessness for women in greater Los Angeles through housing, wellness, employment, and advocacy.
Homeless Health Care Los Angeles

Homeless Health Care Los Angeles

Homeless Health Care Los Angeles (HHCLA) is the largest harm reduction organization in the U.S. They provide needle exchange, naloxone for overdose reversal, housing, hygiene services, and medical and behavioral health service
My Friend’s House

My Friend’s House

On the front-lines for over a decade, My Friends House LA Foundation has been supporting the needs of people experiencing homelessness and other marginalized populations. They support residents in and around the Downtown Los Angeles area known as Skid Row. They aim to provide programs that promote and encourage self-esteem, self-sufficiency and healthy living. To date, they have assisted over 500,000 men, women and children with food, clothing, toiletries and other needed resources.
Skidrow Brigade

Skidrow Brigade 

The Skidrow Brigade (WE GET UP & GET BUSY), is a volunteer unit, which is now considered the "greatest volunteer unit in Downtown Los Angeles.” This title was earned in 2005, after spending 8 months, day and night, cleaning up the streets, and San Julian Street in particular. Founded in 1996, the Skid Row Brigade is a special unit of Skid Row community members, capable of being mobilized within 24 hours on a grassroots level. Its commitment is uplifting men over 40 years, organizing the skills and talents of the community and creating a clean, safe, healthy environment in Skid Row.

Members of the Skidrow Brigade continue to be engaged 24/7, providing consultation to community residents concerning issues of mental health, social services, social security, drug programs, and housing. The Skidrow Brigade continues to act as liaison between local community groups, community leaders, and civic officials.

United Coalition East (UCEPP) Social Model Recovery Systems

United Coalition East Prevention Project (UCEPP) Social Model Recovery Systems

The mission of United Coalition East Prevention Project (UCEPP) is to engage the most vulnerable populations of Central City East and prevent and/or reduce the impact of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco in the community by using grassroots research, assessment, and innovative approaches. For the past decade, UCEPP has partnered with community members to identify neighborhood problems and develop strategies to address them.

Urban Alchemy

Urban Alchemy

Urban Alchemy transforms people and urban spaces with respect and compassion to heal communities and cities. They are a social enterprise that engages with situations where extreme poverty meets homelessness, mental illness, and addiction. Urban Alchemy is a peaceful and supportive presence, inviting communities to rebuild and restore a sense of pride and respect in urban spaces. Urban Alchemy makes public areas safer so that people are no longer at risk of being assaulted, harmed, or left alone. Their practitioners are a compassionate and peaceful presence that restore safety and cleanliness in the streets. When an area loses its sense of pride, Urban Alchemy helps communities find it again.