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Downtown Women's Center Opens New Home on San Pedro

By David Markland
Published: Monday, December 13, 2010, at 12:29PM
IMG_3577 David Markland [Flickr]

Fannie Mayfield and other residents of the Downtown Women's Center, along with supporters, marched and danced from their old building to the new facility.



Typically, anyone making a move to a new home only a few blocks away would spend more time grumbling about packing than they would celebrating. Not so for the residents of the Downtown Women's Center, who danced in the streets with a New Orleans-style processional to their new and improved residences.

On Friday, L.A.'s oldest and largest facility for homeless women moved into a renovated former shoe factory at 442 S. San Pedro that includes a computer room, space for arts and crafts and food prep areas. The building also will provide health care services and a cafeteria that will serve up to 200 lunches per day.

The new site has 71 residential units, 21 more than the previous facility. That building, located at 325 S. Los Angeles, will undergo renovations of its own next year before reopening as additional housing.

Following the processional and opening remarks given by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Councilwoman Jan Perry, the Mayor assisted in rolling out a red carpet for the new residents to walk down into their new home.

At the opening, attendees also received a sneak peek at a ground floor retail shop that will be staffed by Women's Center residents, providing them with job training. It will officially open in February.

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