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Homeless Women

June 11, 1996
The groundbreaking for a housing facility and service center for homeless women and children was celebrated Monday morning at its future site just west of downtown. The Women's Village, at 1650 Rockwood Blvd., is a $10.5-million project of the Good Shepherd Center for Homeless Women, a Catholic nonprofit group.
December 9, 2013 | Sandy Banks
It took Marjorie Hauser four days to get here from New York City last spring - and one hour to realize she was lost. She had come for a job and a place to live. Her husband had died, she had lost her home and her car had been repossessed. She lived with her family for a while, then church members bought her a train ticket and gave her the address of a Los Angeles man who said he could help her find work and an apartment. But no one met her at the train station and the address didn't exist.
November 29, 1996
Sister Julia Mary, who runs Good Shepherd Center for Homeless Women, is watching a symbol of hope slowly emerge from a once crime-ridden pocket of land in Central Los Angeles. Construction of Women's Village, a housing facility and service center for homeless women and children, started this month, thanks in part to recently awarded federal funding. It will house 70 people. Catholic Charities of Los Angeles, the nonprofit group that operates Good Shepherd, was awarded a $1.
August 25, 2013 | By Titania Kumeh
In the back of a skid row community health center, a woman with teardrop tattoos under her eyes begins to tell her story. To a circle of other women, she says she ran away from home and joined a gang at 13. She started injecting PCP, and as a teen spent time in jail. By 22, she worked as a prostitute. At 37, she was diagnosed with HIV. Now 50, the woman known as Hilda tells the circle that the only time she took her HIV medication was when she was in jail. "Why?" someone asks.
May 18, 1996
Los Angeles' past will have a familiar look Sunday to denizens of downtown's skid row. The reason: Homeless women will take to the streets to reenact the role pioneer women played in the creation of the city more than 100 years ago. The amateur actresses will be costumed in hoop skirts and bonnets as they lead spectators on a three-block walk along Spring, 4th and Los Angeles streets. Stops will be made at sites where their characters once lived and worked.
Pregnant and addicted to crack, 30-year-old Aracely Ramirez had been scouting for drugs in Downtown Los Angeles early one morning last August when she went into labor and gave birth--alone. Ramirez had hurried back to a room in the Skid Row hotel run by her sister and delivered a baby daughter, who, wrapped in towels, fell asleep cradled in her arms. "I knew I was in big trouble and I needed help," Ramirez said recently, her eyes red and welling with tears.
Huge stuffed animals sat like sentinels in the corners of the House of Hope's spacious lobby, as volunteers painted doors and hung pictures Wednesday for the opening today of the largest shelter in the nation for homeless women and children. The huge home, on a quiet street near Chapman University, was built with $3 million given by 4,000 private donors and labor donated by builders over the past three years. The 1940s Craftsman style home beginning today will house two women and three children.
The surgeon was boring a hole in Bob Reid's head when Reid heard the nurse announce that his vital signs were going flat. Although he felt nothing, he heard all as the anesthesia was wearing off. "I was terrified," he recalls. "I was convinced that I was going to die." It was a moment that changed Reid's life. When he recovered from the infection that had threatened his brain, he says he "realized I had to do something that was real for a change. I was sick of false material values.
It has been a month since "Living in the Shadows" ran in the View section on Dec. 2, but Marjorie Bard is still receiving calls and letters about the story. Some who contact her simply want to share their own tales of how they slipped from middle-class luxury to living in their cars. Others call to offer housing, employment, medical, dental, legal or financial aid.
August 14, 1993 | SUSAN BYRNES
The Women's Care Cottage, a nonprofit organization for homeless women and children in Van Nuys, will receive at least $10,000 from the UPS Foundation and is in the running for $100,000, an amount that would facilitate a planned move to a larger site. The Women's Care Cottage now operates a day drop-in center in a cramped one-bedroom cottage on the property of the First United Methodist Church on Sylvan Street.
November 17, 2012 | By Mary MacVean, Los Angeles Times
Before we eat Thanksgiving dinner at my house, along with saying grace, each of the 20 or so people at the table takes a turn lighting a candle and expressing gratitude. The appreciation can be lighthearted - for mashed potatoes or a day off from school. Or the thankfulness may be accompanied by a heavy heart - for the memories of a loved one recently passed. As it happens, this expression is not an empty exercise. And if we developed the discipline to be consciously grateful on a regular basis, year-round, research shows we'd be happier and suffer less depression and stress.
October 16, 2012 | By Michael Muskal
Officials are investigating the Arizona National Guard after a series of news reports disclosed that military recruiters engaged in repeated misbehavior, including sexual abuse, firearms violations and shooting homeless people with paint ball guns in "bum hunts. " Gov. Jan Brewer has ordered an investigation after the Arizona Republic  reported on the so-called bum hunts, staged by noncommissioned officers to harass homeless people in north Phoenix. The newspaper reported that 30 to 35 such raids took place involving troops shooting at the homeless with paintball guns.
September 23, 2012 | By Erin Loury, Los Angeles Times
Stepping through the doors of the Downtown Women's Center is entering a world apart from the grind of skid row. In the comfortable, tasteful rooms of this converted shoe factory at San Pedro and 5th streets, homeless women can find a meal, a shower or - thanks to a new program - a mammogram. Starting in May, the center has offered monthly breast screenings to improve the preventive healthcare of its aging residents and visitors. Nearly 1 in 3 homeless people in Los Angeles is a woman.
July 16, 2011 | By Alexandra Zavis and Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times
Lori Moss wasn't sure what to expect when she arrived early Friday at Rainbow Lagoon Park in Long Beach. A veteran of the Army Reserves, Moss, 30, has been living in transitional housing for months because she can't find work. She hoped she might get job tips from some of the dozens of government agencies, nonprofits and veterans groups setting up booths for a relief effort known as Stand Down. A few hours later, she was smiling as a stylist from the Career Academy of Beauty in Garden Grove primped and curled her hair.
December 11, 2010 | By Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times
A crowd of antsy women stood on skid row, applying glitter, adjusting sashes, fidgeting with their hair. Behind them was a modest brick building with a faded mural on the wall. For decades, this was the Downtown Women's Center. On Friday morning, at the cue of a bongo drum and with a chorus of cheers, the women paraded Mardi Gras-style down Los Angeles Street to the center's new home. The sidewalks could barely contain their dancing and singing. "Stay out of the street," a parade leader called out. Angie Wade didn't seem to hear it. She was grooving in the right lane, clapping her hands.
October 3, 2010 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
Vera Brown, a skin care specialist with a star-studded clientele who sponsored beauty clinics for thousands of blind teens, delinquent girls, homeless women and cancer patients in Los Angeles, died Sept. 24 at her Westwood home. She was 90 and had been in poor health for the last year, said her daughter, Angela. For more than 25 years, Brown operated two luxurious spas ? Vera's Retreat in Tarzana and Vera's Retreat in the Glen in Bel-Air ? with a client list that included such celebrities as Chris Evert, Whitney Houston, Nicole Kidman and Jane Seymour.
January 6, 1988 | PATT MORRISON, Times Staff Writer
It has served variously, through its 95 years, as a finishing school, an elegant hotel, an Army barracks and a women's shelter. Everyone from turn-of-the-century debutantes to women down on their luck have called it home. But twice in the last two years, fire has brought the landmark Moorish-style building perilously close to being no one's home.
On her 33rd birthday, Kimberly Foster's boyfriend wrapped his large hands around her neck and began to squeeze the life out of her while her three kids watched, she says. As she struggled for air and her son pummeled the older man, Foster held onto a thought: There was a way out. Earlier that day, Foster's fervent prayers for help were answered when she learned that she and her children had been accepted to the House of Hope, a homeless shelter in Orange.
June 21, 2010 | By Alexandra Zavis, Times Staff Writer
In the wooded foothills of the San Fernando Valley, Jasani Espy found a peaceful sanctuary in which to recover from years of homelessness and abuse. On Saturday, she and her four children moved into an apartment of their own. They are among dozens of families helped by Hope Gardens Family Center, a transitional housing facility for women and children surrounded by lush trees and flowerbeds, a burbling stream and a koi pond. "It gave me time to heal," said the 25-year-old South L.A. native as she filled cardboard boxes with clothes and rolls of toilet paper last week.
July 25, 2008 | Scott Gold, Times Staff Writer
Not long after Felicia Cuellar started working at The Village Kitchen, she began to suspect that the purple potatoes she'd been roasting had been dyed. The red carrots, too. Aren't carrots supposed to be orange? Indeed, most everything she knew about food she'd learned from the drive-thru. She didn't know the proper way to hold a knife, much less how to distribute butter in batches of scone batter to keep them from spreading out like pancakes in the oven. From her first day, however, Cuellar was an expert on the scale.
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