Human Services : Homeless Services
Downtown Women's Center
Homelessness ends here.
442 South San Pedro Street Los Angeles, CA 90013
tel: (213) 680-0600
Official Charity Response
As of June 1st, 2016, Charity Navigator has implemented a new methodology for rating non-profit organizations which has resulted in a downgrade of DWC’s rating from 4 to 3 stars. This was the result of the inclusion of a ‘liabilities to assets ratio’ measurement. The liabilities to assets ratio was created to evaluate the level of debt that an organization has at any given time. This metric helps donors understand if their donations are being used to service debt rather than servicing the charitable mission. However, this ratio is not an accurate representation of DWC’s strong financial health and long-term sustainability.
In 2010 the Downtown Women’s Center was gifted our San Pedro Street building for $1 to develop affordable housing. The building was originally a shoe factory and had been utilized as a mixed-use space in the years following, so it needed major renovations to transform into Permanent Supportive Housing for homeless women. To complete these renovations DWC raised $35 million dollars which included many of the common types of affordable housing funding from federal, state, county, city, and private organizations.
Some of the funding DWC received to renovate the building was structured as loans from various government entities. These unique types of loans are made available to affordable housing projects and are different than typical loans that require regularly scheduled interest and principal payments; organizations fulfill these loans by continuing to offer services to the community as a non-profit organization. Assuming that DWC will continue to provide services to homeless women and not make a profit on our housing, principal and interest payments on the loans are not required. In addition, some of the loans are either forgivable on maturity or are forgiven over the term of the loan. DWC entered into these types of loans with service contracts extending through 2067 to ensure that we continue as a service organization. As a result of this DWC’s rating will remain at three stars until a large enough percentage of the loans have been forgiven to satisfy the debt ratio Charity Navigator considers acceptable.
The Downtown Women’s Center will continue to provide housing and services to homeless women in Los Angeles. Our services strengthen year over year, while our fundraising resources continue to grow at an average of 15% annually.
If you have any questions about our rating or our financial stability, please do not hesitate to contact Donor and Volunteer Relations Manager, Camille Crenshaw at (213) 213-2834 or CamilleC@DowntownWomensCenter.org.