Pandemic era puts Southland homelessness in the public eye

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May 19, 2020
Installers gather around someone with a drill on a flat roof

Our neighbors experiencing homelessness are too rarely engaged, and their problems get addressed with too little attention. Yet between the affordability challenges that working folx particularly faced in recent years, and the outbreak of coronavirus infections in California (with the highest toll in Los Angeles County), the circumstances of our unhoused neighbors have been on more minds recently.

Clean energy technology might not seem to be an immediate solution to some 50,000 people who don't sleep with a roof over their head all the time, but the brilliance of green power is its capacity to unlock much more. In fact, we're proud to be the city's foremost advocates of solar as a tool to deal with crisis-level homelessness. As charities, civic actors, and people who care about housing come up with more ways to move people inside, we don't just "point out" that solar energy positions operations to be more cost-effective. We're providing it.

A person whose hat says JEFF and a person whose hat says CRISTY laugh with another person
Installing solar for the Downtown Women's Center was tons of fun!

Last year, installation of a large system on the main building for residents housed by the city's Downtown Women's Center provided clarity. The DWC's team is a powerhouse in fighting for women who experience homelessness, helping many move to jobs and many more move to shelter. And they created the first permanent supportive housing for women in the United States of America. But with solar panels offsetting the costs of their historic building, there is now a chance to amplify those services even more and make sure the surrounding neighborhood of Skid Row isn't left out of the green movement in Greater Los Angeles.

"As a LEED certified building, the Downtown Women's Center is proud to continue our commitment to sustainability with the addition of these 36 high-performing solar panels from GRID GLA," the DWC wrote at the time. "Thanks to GRID GLA and the volunteers from Foley & Lardner LLP, KPMG, and Warner Bros, our building will now be better equipped to serve the 5,000 women who walk through our doors every year seeking help and hope."

To learn more about the County's wider efforts on homelessness, check out Everyone In at https://everyoneinla.org.