Los Angeles Center for Community Law and Action
Produced by #UnequalCities Network organization Los Angeles Center for Community Law and Action
Abstract: This paper discusses a growing body of evidence about the public health inequities that remain unaddressed by the city and exacerbated by COVID-19 resulting in the life-threatening and brutal impact on women in Skid Row. Historically, the welfare of women has never received serious consideration within patriarchal power structures. And when you zero in on the most deprived community in the city of Los Angeles — Skid Row, a predominately African-American neighborhood devitalized by poverty, homelessness and discrimination — the conditions that women live in are a recipe for mortality. With nearly 21,000 women currently experiencing homelessness according to the latest count by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), which showed a disproportionate number of whom are Black (8% of the population of the city, they accounted for 34%, of homeless residents), the city’s response has been woefully inadequate. The mayor’s recent proclamation that, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, he is “going to house 100 black women”, offering no rationale for this prescription, served as a stark reminder that the fundamental needs of women are routinely discounted and overlooked.