Spring/Summer Newsletter

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As I write to you at this midpoint of a year of unprecedented events, I am profoundly aware that our world is at a critical turning point, a compelling moment for introspection and change. The worldwide pandemic has revealed the unsettling reality of great inequities in our communities to meet fundamental human needs: access to quality healthcare, adequate food, safe shelter, and sufficient income. And in the midst of our shared struggle, we continue to witness the ever-present and deadly realities of systemic racism and social injustice. These issues are not new — we have dealt with them throughout our history. But now, the veil has truly been lifted. While these days have been earthshaking for all of us, Maya Angelou's words gives us strength. . . "and still we rise." Our remarkable and dedicated staff has risen to the challenges of the times by: Providing services in the communities most impacted by the pandemic and civil unrest Being available to survivors to help create emergency safety plans Providing space to listen to survivors who are triggered by the times Providing a safety net for those experiencing homelessness Continuing to support survivors in taking their power back Supporting and reminding each other to take care of ourselves, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. As we all adjust to new realities in our lives, ELAWC is committed to pursuing the greater good without causing more harm, and by moving forward with compassion, innovation, and optimism. We are deeply grateful for the many individuals, corporations, and foundations who have contributed to our Rapid Response Fund. Your support matters.

During these uncertain times ELAWC has continued to serve in new and innovative ways by: Creating virtual support groups Responding to over 800 chats each week Implementing tele-health counseling sessions Increasing resources provided on our Website, Hotline and Chat line reaching over 4,000. Providing emergency shelter and support to over 60 families fleeing domestic violence Promotoras continue to mobilize using social media with over 6 active collectives. Raising over $200,000 to meet the needs of our community

To continued peace and good health,


Barbara Kappos, Executive Director 1431 South Atlantic Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90022 . 323.526.5819 | Crisis Hotline . 800.585.6231 | HIV Info Line . 800.400.7432

Stories of Strength & Service _________________________________________________________________________________

In these extraordinary times, we find inspiration in the work of extraordinary individuals. At ELAWC we are inspired by work of our remarkable staff, volunteers, and Promotoras. Their strength, determination, and ongoing commitment to service makes the world a better place.


is the kind of person we all need to recognize.

A young woman who has faced many challenges in her personal life. When many might give up, she has taken a higher road, committing herself to doing all she can for others during this pandemic crisis. She willingly worked graveyard shifts at Saint John's Hospital in the Emergency Department. She was the first person a patient met, many with COVID-related symptoms.


Advocate, Volunteer K I M B E R L Y has been a hotline advocate since 2019.

Within the first three months of being certified Kimberly completed 300 advocacy hours: answering hotlines, working the front office desk, seeing walk-in survivors, supporting the volunteer program, and going out on hospital accompaniments.

Grieving the deaths of multiple family members in the last two years, fleeing violence at home, Iris was facing homelessness. Her grit and determination led her to ELAWC where she found safety and solace, and a temporary home in a supportive environment. We are proud to announce Iris has accepted a position at a large hospital in Atlanta working in the ER, and continuing her heroic work. Thank you, Iris. Your strength and courage will guide you throughout life.

Although Kimberly has more than exceeded her commitment hours, she is here for all of us, especially during this pandemic. Thank you Kimberly. Your generosity and dedication inspire us. We are honored to have you as part of the ELAWC family.


Front line worker Page 2

Stories of Strength & Service _________________________________________________________________________________


Wellness Center, Clinical Supervisor Beginning her career as an intern at ELAWC in 2007, Elena Gonzalez has grown professionally and personally, alongside with the agency. Offering compassionate support as a therapist and now as the Clinical Supervisor for the Wellness Center, she is deeply committed to helping heal the most vulnerable. With Covid-19 shutting down face-to-face services indefinitely, Elena worked tirelessly to launch new ways to continue services for so many who rely on the Wellness Center as a safe place for growth and healing. Clients already facing big hurdles in life, had to find the right technology and a safe place to continue with virtual services, and Elena and her team were there to make it happen. During this unusual time, Elena and her team found housing solutions for families, including placing 50 families in a hotel in Los Angeles through the Mayor's Safe Haven Project. The Wellness Center team can’t wait to welcome clients back for in-person services soon, but for now, virtual services deliver important continuity of care for brave and resilient survivors. Thank you, Elena, and your entire team at the Wellness Center. We embrace your optimism and can-do attitude to ensure continued the health and well-being for all.

Finding Food for Families

Promotoras Take Charge Social and economic shocks like COVID-19 push already vulnerable families over the edge in so many ways. Job and income losses, transportation challenges, and isolation expand food insecurity. Witnessing these challenges in their communities, ELAWC Promotoras stepped up as leaders, proactively organizing a contact-free food distribution program for the community and engaging local businesses for donations and support. We are inspired by the Promotoras leadership and action.

Thank you to all our Promotoras. You truly are a bridge to the community.

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ELAWC in Action _________________________________________________________________________________


On January 18, ELAWC staff, volunteers, and Promotoras joined more than 300,000 people at the 4th Annual Women’s March LA, harnessing our collective political power to create transformative social change.


We marched to affirm that women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights, and to demand equality and justice for all people. Following the March, we shared our message of hope and empowerment with all who stopped by our resource booth.

Celebrating International Women's Day and National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

More than 200 attendees joined ELAWC and LA County Board Supervisor Hilda L. Solis at the annual community event at the LA Civic Center Forty community partners were on hand to offer vital resources and tools for better health. HIV testing Health resources and referrals Job training opportunities Self-defense training Know-Your-Rights workshop for service workers Face painting and crafts Special thanks to Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and the LOUD AIDS Health Foundation.

More than 50 of us shared this inspiring day of civic engagement, an important reminder of the strength and power of our vibrant, diverse communities.

You really care about me. I was tested for HIV, and learned all that is available for my well-being. You even gave

We are committed to ending systemic violence

& racism. We stand for

Justice | Human Dignity | Equality | Equity

We stand in solidarity with Black & Brown communities. Together, we can build a more just society.

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us water and snacks! I also won a gift during the raffle. I was amazed, I've never won anything my life! —Health Navigation client

ELAWC in Action _________________________________________________________________________________ LAILA ALI & ATHLETES FOR IMPACT

Focus on Human Trafficking I give back, because helping is human. — Rose McGowan


Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day

The Wing, a women-focused, co-working club invited ELAWC to take part in their Activism & Volunteer Fair, a day of service honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s social impact and fight for equality. In addition to building awareness around equity and equality, we were delighted to welcome new members to our Embajadoras de Paz member's program. WEARE#HAPPYPERIOD, another participating organization, generously donated 100 hygiene kits for distribution to needy ELAWC clients.

Human Trafficking Outreach Specialist Lisa Vargas and Laila Ali

Wellness advocate and former professional boxer Laila Ali visited the Hope and Heart Shelter with four members of Athletes for Impact (A4I), including former USA National Junior team gymnast, Katelyn Ohashi. Founded in 2016, Athletes for Impact is an inclusive and global network of athletes committed to change by connecting athletes with leading grassroots organizations to inform and inspire others to take action on important social issues. Laila shared her inspiring story and commitment to use her voice to end human trafficking.

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ELAWC in Action _________________________________________________________________________________ An Assessment Study Domestic Violence & Homelessness

Even though I was afraid during the pandemic, I felt safe at Project Safe Haven. I am so excited because in a few weeks I will be moving into my very first apartment, thanks to the housing specialists and staff at ELAWC. —Survivor


Focus on Domestic Violence Since the Safer at Home order took effect in Los Angeles there has been a dramatic rise in domestic violence crisis calls. Vulnerable women required to stay at home with their abusers, are not safer at home. Recognizing the danger, and with a generous $4.2 million gift from local donors, LA City's Mayor Garcetti's office launched Project Safe Haven to secure safe housing for up to 900 survivors and their children of domestic abuse. ELAWC was called upon as a resource to assist in this collaborative effort across the city. In addition to coordinating safe housing for more than 50 families, our staff is delivering crucial mental health services, legal, employment, and permanent housing referrals, with the goal of helping clients find safety, strength, and personal well-being in these troubling times.

Fall 2020

ELAWC recently conducted an assessment study to identify the pathways that lead Domestic Violence survivors in Los Angeles County to homelessness. Focus groups with clients who are currently homeless, or have previously experienced homelessness, were conducted in both English and Spanish. Experts in domestic violence and homelessness were also consulted. Systemic issues such as sexism, racism, family dynamics, institutional entities, child welfare, and the cycle of poverty were over-arching themes of why female survivors become homeless. The study discusses the limitations for permanent housing, and prevention strategies and solutions. We look forward to sharing our study along with a photo exhibit and personal testimonials in the fall 2020. After you leave, in the beginning, you do not have

We are grateful so many have the opportunity to be safe.

work, money or credit. We are the people without credentials, without credit, without the last two months of check stubs needed to rent a place. —Survivor

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ELAWC in Action _________________________________________________________________________________



Carmen Perez, cofounder of The Women’s March, was the keynote speaker at our 2nd annual youth summit, organized entirely by our amazing youth advocates. More than 150 youth participated in thought-provoking and actionpacked workshops. Topics included Storytelling with Los Compadres Network; Empowerment Self Defense

with our certified staff; “Twerk, Tweet, Transform” social media

activism; and many more youth organizing activities. Thank you to our generous

Adapting to the New Normal

While we couldn’t meet in person during Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), ELAWC continued to welcome individuals to our Center through virtual livestream workshops and events. ELAWC was able to reach a much broader audience, with more than 900 participants attending hosted virtual workshops and film screenings. These virtual events were such a success, we expect to continue them throughout the year.


Workshops: Human Trafficking My Healthy Relationships Engaging Boys and Men to End Sexual Assault Coping with Overwhelming Emotions Loving with Consent: A Conversation about Safer Sex and HIV Prevention Film Screenings: Speak Rape on the Night Shift The Invisible War The Hunting Ground

sponsors who made this transformative day possible: BHC Boyle Heights, the California Endowment, The Wellness Center, La Monarca Bakery, and L.A. Care Health Plan.

Next virtual workshop Tuesday, July 7 | 4:30-6:30 Consent. Past, Present, Future A conversation about consent and how you can be changemakers in the community. Led by ELAWC Youth. REGISTER AT: https://bit.ly/ELAWCYouthTownhall or use the QR code

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Looking Ahead _________________________________________________________________________________ COMING SOON LUNAFEST


Homeless, not Hopeless

— a photography and story showcase

Garden & Gardner It’s hard to bloom Without any roots So I am my own roots now My own soil, my own water Look at this flower These pigmented petals The resilient reds The strong stem Eternally growing I could have wilted But instead I blossom

LUNAFEST® is not just a traveling film festival, it’s a force for change. Join ELAWC this fall to celebrate and support the work of ELAWC women


Focus on Homelessness

Filmed at the East Los Angeles Women’s Center, JUANA is a riveting story of homelessness and compassion.

and be a force for change. Join us virtually September 10, 2020 Contact: Heidy Rodriguez hrodriguez@elawc.org

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The short film by José René Bolaños premieres in the summer of 2020. Learn more: projectlotusproductions.com

~ zayakoegel

Looking Ahead _________________________________________________________________________________ The Nurturing Program

Empowering Healthy Families To help raise future generations of emotionally and physically healthier families, The Nurturing Program sets new standards to promote positive parenting skills and nurturing behaviors for


parents and children alike.

the call

Become a Certified Advocate for Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Launching in the summer of 2020, the 14-week evidence-based program teaches adults, adolescents, and children how to interrupt the cycle of family violence and dysfunction. Integrating culturally responsive content, the weekly age-appropriate groups focus on specific themes to better understand one another and build new communication and interaction skills for all family members. Topics include developmental expectations for each life stage, positive parenting skills, self-esteem, empathy, empowerment, and more. Family Nurturing Time gives families an opportunity to come together and share activities to demonstrate and practice newly acquired skills.

Volunteer-advocates provide crisis intervention, advocacy, education, and referrals to survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, human trafficking, and those impacted by homelessness. Advocates answer ELAWC’s

Participants and graduates of the Nurturing Program will be offered ongoing services and support to strengthen their family and sense of community.

24-hour Crisis Hotline. After

For more information contact : Alejandra Aguilar | alejandra@elawc.org

advocates pledge to complete

successfully completing the required 70-hour training, 24 hours of volunteering per month for one year.


Led by men in a non-judgmental environment.

Men's Circles are a place to talk about the many issues men face on a daily basis as fathers, partners, family and community members, In the circulo, men reflect and learn about positive and healthy relationships, coping and conflict resolution skills, and are encouraged to share life experiences through a process that allows for transformation and healing.

Next virtual training begins Sept. 9, 2020 Learn more & apply elawc.org/volunteer

Now conducting virtual groups Contact Luis Mendoza lmendoza@elawc.org for more information.

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Congratulations Graduates _________________________________________________________________________________

The CLASS OF 2020 is one for the history books

Meliza Gandara

Elizabeth Almanza

Claudia Ruvalcaba

Masters of Social Work Cal State University Dominguez Hills

Masters of Social Work Cal State University Long Beach

Bachelor of Social Work Minor in Religious Studies Mount Saint Mary’s University

With hard work, perseverance, and resilience ELAWC staff made it to the end of their educational journey during truly historic times.

We are beaming with pride as we celebrate their accomplishments — ready to tackle a changing world and be a part of changing it for the better. Join us in giving all of these Betzabeth Salinas Navarro

Masters of Social Work Cal State University Long Beach

Karla Ortiz

Monica Moreno

Bachelor of Sociology Cal State University Los Angeles

Masters of Social Work Cal State University Long Beach

Dinessa Herrera

Graciela Santamaria

Bachelor of Social Work Minor in Gerontology & Child Development Cal State University Long Beach

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Masters of Social Work Cal State University Long Beach

amazing Latinas a welldeserved standing ovation.

And to all to the high school graduates who made it through — hats off to you too!

In Loving Memory ________________________________________________________________________________

We recently lost two beloved members of our community. We will forever miss their unwavering courage, compassion, and amazing grace.

We remember . . . .

Every Black and Brown life lost to police brutality and racial injustice. Together, we fight for justice and #SayTheirNames.


Bobby Lee Verdugo

Beatriz Solis

Community Activist

The California Endowment, Director for Healthy Communities

Bobby Lee Verdugo will always be a part of our hearts. A longtime activist Bobby was one of the leaders of the 1968 East Los Angeles high school walkouts and went on to serve a leader of youth and young men at Bienvenidos and the Con Los Padres Program. We wish his family strength and courage. We will miss your huge heart. .

Bea Solis was a cherished friend, mentor, philanthropist, health care advocate, and fearless leader in our community. She touched thousands of lives in the most vulnerable and underserved communities in Los Angeles through her tireless work at the California Endowment. Our deepest condolences go to her entire family, and to her sister Supervisor Hilda L. Solis.

Remembering the nearly 500,000 lives worldwide lost to Covid-19 in 2020.

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With Gratitude _________________________________________________________________________________

Thank You | Gracias Rapid Response Fund

We asked. You answered. Through your generous gifts hundreds of families have food, shelter, and support during these especially difficult times.

Major Donors The California Endowment The California Wellness Foundation

AACN Chapter at Keck Medical Center

Eric Hsu Jerry Tello

The Annenberg Foundation

Alison Faith Charitable Fund

Women's Foundation of California


Katherine Kurnick

Blue Shield - Promise

Brittney Lee

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF)

Carmen Chavez

Lauren Kisilevsky Los Angeles Host Lions Club

CEMEX Foundation

Chef Emily Baird

JoAnn Diaz

Constance Marie

Moms Club of Culver City West & Mar Vista

Danette Rivera + Friends

Rose Marcario

Dr. Richard Chang

Rose McGowan Wendy vanden Heuvel

In-Kind Donors Adnant, LLC Baby 2 Baby Catholic Daughters of The Americas St. Alphonsus #2696 Frontline Foods Glaudi by Johanna Hernandez La Princesita Tortilleria Lisa Becker & Scout McLaglen East Side Eats LA Ripley Rader Violence Intervention Program Voss Water Page 12

_________________________________________________________________________________ ELAWC Annual Review 2019 available now


elwac.org/our_impact to see how your support makes a difference year after year

Mobilize for ELAWC

Create a campaign for a cause Did you know you can host a virtual fundraiser to support ELAWC programs and services? Create a fundraiser in honor of friends or family, your birthday or anniversary, or just because this work moves your heart. It’s easy! Visit elawc.org/personal_fundraising_page or scan the QR code to get started. Create a profile Set your goal Share your page

And thank you. We can’t do this without a little help from friends like you.

Hover your camera over the code to get started

How to reach us now

(800) 585-6231

Our bilingual crisis hotline is always open. All calls are anonymous and confidential. Call anytime 24/7/365. MAIN OFFICE | (323) 526-5819 ELAWC staff is transitioning to meet the needs of the community, using a hybrid model with virtual and in-person services. HOUSING SERVICES | (800) 585-6231 Housing Solutions, Shelter & Transitional Housing are operating. WELLNESS CENTER | Temporarily closed to the public. Staff is available remotely. 1431 South Atlantic Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90022 . 323.526.5819 | Crisis Hotline . 800.585.6231 | HIV Info Line . 800.400.7432

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