Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Below you will find answers to the Frequently Asked Questions we have received in the past. If you’d like to ask a question you do not see on our list, please contact us and we will answer your question as quickly as possible.
What is the Weingart Center?
The Weingart Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit homeless services organization located in the Central City East (Skid Row) area of Los Angeles, California.
What is the Mission of the Weingart Center?
The Weingart Center empowers and transforms lives by delivering innovative solutions to combat poverty and break the cycle of homelessness.
How are you affiliated with the Weingart Foundation?
We have no affiliation with the Weingart Foundation, but we share closely aligned missions. We have been awarded both operational and capital funding from the Weingart Foundation several times, but go through the same application process as all the other worthy causes they have supported.
What services does the Weingart Center provide?
The Weingart Center provides both residential and community-based services that help people address the challenges that led to homelessness. Our residential programs all include an assigned bed, secure storage, three meals a day (sack lunches are provided for those off-site for work or school), 24-hour front desk and security staff, and professional housekeeping and maintenance services. Once the basics are out of the way, we also assign each client a case manager, who assesses client needs and coordinates other services as needed. We also provide substance abuse and mental health treatment, computer-based academic education, and employment preparation on-site, with comprehensive primary care and vocational training located very close by. Click here for more information on our programs.
How does the Weingart Center differ from typical missions and shelters?
When people think of “homeless services,” they usually picture homeless shelters with large rooms full of cots, a hot meal, and little else in the way of meeting needs. The conventional approach seeks to alleviate the symptoms of poverty and homelessness, but not address the root causes and create permanent change.
At the Weingart Center, we emphasize a transitional approach. It starts with an assessment by a case manager during intake. Each client works with their case manager to create an Individualized Service Plan (ISP), which outlines their goals that will mark their progress toward self-sufficiency. While some goals are found on almost every ISP, each client has the opportunity to identify what they need most to accomplish to effect permanent change in their life. While most shelter programs have a 30-day maximum, most of our programs are expected to take six months or more, and culminate in permanent housing placement.
When was the Weingart Center established?
The Volunteers of America began providing homeless services in the Weingart Center building in 1983, and the Weingart Center Association was incorporated in 1984 as a standalone non-profit.
How large is the Weingart Center?
Our primary building is eleven stories, nine of which are residential. We have up to 576 beds available on any given night to Weingart Center programs (an additional 42 beds are operated by a Volunteers of America residential detox program).
Because we do not have funding for all of our beds, we have an average of 450 residents per night (again, not counting VoA). Private rooms are available for rental at a rate of $17/night, or to individuals with vouchers from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services.
We employ 168 full-time staff and two part-time staff as case managers, housekeepers, job developers, program supervisors, and other management and support staff. We have a seven-member Executive Leadership Team and five Director-level positions to ensure adequate supervision and stewardship of our programs and resources.
The Weingart Center occupies over 170,000 square feet of space in five facilities — our 11-story residential housing building, an employment services center, a health center our cafe and our corporate building. All facilities are located in Skid Row. We recently relocated our Access Center, now called the Hope Row Resource Center, into the ground floor of our residential building. This will lower costs, improve services, and put outreach where it is most needed.
Are the services at the Weingart Center free?
Yes. The Weingart Center is a non-profit organization and provides all of its services and programs free of charge to eligible clients. Individuals can rent unfunded and unused beds on a nightly basis; we attempt to get to know those who rent rooms in our facility and connect them to funded programs as appropriate.
How do clients find you?
There are many routes into our programs. Some programs are only open to individuals referred from other institutions, such as EPIC (referred from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation) and our Veterans Transitional Housing program (referred from the Veterans Administration). Others are referred from the Los Angeles County Department of Social Services or from our walk-in Resource Center. We also receive referrals from other local service agencies and from outreach teams such as our AmeriCorps Hope for the Homeless members.
Do you have a waiting list?
No. People who need our services need them immediately. When we do not have space available in an appropriate program, we connect with other organizations that do.
How is the Weingart Center funded?
The Weingart Center receives funding from a variety of sources: public grants and contracts from local, State, and Federal sources; corporate contributions; foundation grants; and individual investments. We host fundraising events throughout the year to engage supporters as well. Visit our Financials page to find out more about our funding. Help the homeless by making an investment today.
Can I volunteer to serve food?
Every holiday season, we see news stories about the amazing work going on in soup kitchens and shelters, with armies of volunteers dishing out Christmas dinner, celebrities telling us how important homelessness is, and smiling faces on full bellies of the indigent and underserved.
On December 26th, they are gone.
Weingart Center employs a professional staff to meet the basic, day-to-day needs of our clients. We invite volunteers to augment our services with extracurricular activities, provide administrative or consulting assistance, help with special events, and engage in larger efforts that require more labor, such as minor renovations.
So our Café staff will serve the food… but we invite you to become involved with the Weingart Center in a manner that makes the best use of your skills, time, and energy.
How Else Can I help?
There are many ways you can help produce life-changing results for our clients. You can always make a cash investment or contribute an item of clothing (especially business attire), personal hygiene items, magazines and books, or larger items. You can also contribute an item or service for one of our silent auctions, attend one of our signature fundraising events, or you can host your own fundraiser at your business or home. To hear about opportunities as they come up, join our mailing list or find us on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.
Was your question not answered here? Please contact Felicia DuPuch at 213.689.2183 or FeliciaD@weingart.org.