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Implementing the Skid Row Action Plan to Support a Safe, Thriving Community 

In 2023, Change Well Project partnered with Los Angeles County to support the implementation of the Skid Row Action Plan—an initiative aimed at addressing the effects of systemic racism and deep poverty and transforming Skid Row into a safe and thriving community.  

The residents of the downtown Los Angeles neighborhood Skid Row—many of whom have experienced extreme poverty and chronic homelessness—have long felt the impact of racial, social, and economic injustice. Yet community members celebrate Skid Row’s diversity and cultural richness—and seek to ensure that the neighborhood can find new ways to thrive. In 2022, Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis announced the creation of a Skid Row Action Plan with the goal of increasing safety and wellbeing for community members through permanent and interim housing and critical supportive services.

To carry this work forward, Change Well Project partnered with Homeless Initiatives Leadership (HI Leadership) and the Department of Health Services (DHS) Housing for Health Leadership to develop an implementation strategy for the Skid Row Community Action Plan (SRAP). This participatory, community-driven process brought together service providers, county and city staff, residents, and those who have accessed services in Skid Row to identify pathways to community empowerment and cohesion through resources and investments that reflect the community’s identity.

Implementing the Skid Row Action Plan:

Community Design Process + Results

SRAP Report Cover

From June to December 2023, Change Well Project was honored to facilitate a participatory community design process focused on identifying SRAP implementation strategies that will support the community’s clear vision for a vibrant, healthy neighborhood. Using a community power-building, place-based approach, Change Well hosted five two-day sessions that created safe spaces for residents, service providers, and city and county staff to share lived experience, examine historical and contemporary realities, and imagine new pathways toward community-driven change in Skid Row. By centering Skid Row residents' voices, and inviting community-based service providers and government partners to work alongside them, this design process identified key strategies for realizing SRAP’s essential components:  

  • Increasing the availability of and access to safe permanent housing through the creation of a Permanent Housing Resident Council made up of community members with lived experience. 

  • Increasing the availability of safe interim housing by providing interim housing providers with training and ongoing technical assistance and creating an Interim Housing Council that holds space for interim housing residents’ voices to be heard.  

  • Acquiring and creating a welcoming, accessible multipurpose Safe Service Space that incorporates community-driven responses to community needs.    

  • Creating a Harm Reduction Health Hub that draws on the wisdom of persons with lived experience of substance use and sex work to create and deliver world-renowned, culturally appropriate harm reduction practices.  

  • Create an integrated 23-7 Health Care Center that provides trauma-informed, harm reduction services and integrates peers/service liaisons into the service delivery model while strengthening connections and coordination between systems of care.  

  • Support local economic opportunities to revitalize Skid Row into a thriving neighborhood by creating community-responsive employment and entrepreneurship pathways that build economic capacity.

The strategies revealed through this in-depth community-design process center on the participation and leadership of community residents as co-design partners, implementers, advisors, and staff of many of SRAP’s key programs and community spaces. As SRAP implementation continues, community residents must remain the cornerstone of this vital initiative to support a safe and thriving Skid Row.  

Developing the Skid Row Action Plan

Interested in learning more about each of the meetings convened in 2023? Read more about each of the stakeholder meetings below.

Stakeholder Meetings

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