The Skid Row Justice and Wellness Center and Pop-Up Produce Market

submission by eares

About Your Application

Organization(s) name(s):

Los Angeles Community Action Network

Organization(s) website(s):

Organization(s) twitter handle(s):

Organization(s) facebook handle(s):

Please share the direct link for voters to sign up for your newsletter(s):

Describe Your Organization(s)

Non-profit organization

For-profit organization


Other (please specify below):

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.


The Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA CAN) engages, educates and organizes low-income and homeless residents to advance a vision for healthy communities in Downtown and South LA, with a special focus on improving health and equity in Skid Row.

In one to three sentences, please describe your proposal.


Located in the Skid Row community, but serving low-income communities of color across Downtown and South LA, the LA CAN Justice and Wellness Center will focus on making Los Angeles a healthy place to live for extremely low-income and homeless residents, as well as others, through expanded services for housing stability and homelessness prevention and increased access to healthy food through a seed-to-market community garden, produce market and micro-enterprise center.

Where will you be working? Please be specific (e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County).

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles (countywide)

City of Los Angeles (citywide)


Other (please specify below):

(e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County):

Downtown LA's Skid Row Community

How do you plan to use these resources to make change? (check all that apply)

Conduct research

Engage residents and stakeholders

Implement a pilot or new project

Expand a pilot or program

Mobilize for systems change

Advocate with policymakers and leaders

Implement and track policy

Other (please specify below):

How will your proposal improve the following “Live” metrics? (check all that apply)

Access to healthy food

Healthcare access

Exposure to air toxins

Number of households below the self-sufficiency index

Percent of imported water

Obesity rates

Housing affordability

Rates of homelessness

Walk/bike/transit score

Acres and miles of polluted waterways

Rates of mental illness

Prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (Dream Metric)

Percentage of LA communities that are resilient (Dream Metric)

Percentage of residents receiving coordinated healthcare services (Dream Metric)

Percentage of tree canopy cover (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the healthiest place to live.


Homeless and extremely-low income residents in Skid Row and South LA face some of the most serious and entrenched health problems facing Angelenos, including lack of safe, affordable housing, limited access to fresh, healthy food, and disproportionately high rates of food-related and chronic diseases. By connecting these underserved communities of color with healthy food growing, food access and education, job training, housing stability programming and homelessness prevention, the LA CAN Justice and Wellness Center will help make LA the healthiest place to live.

In May 2014, LA CAN purchased a 5,000 square foot warehouse located in Skid Row as our new organizational headquarters. We are renovating the full space and transforming the building into a Justice and Wellness Center that will feature a healthy food access micro-enterprise project. For the past year and half, LA CAN has been operating a weekly pop-up produce market in the Pueblo del Rio public housing community in South LA. The Center expands on this successful and innovative model and will feature a rooftop community garden, a micro-enterprise training space focused on gardening and food retail skills, a community kitchen for nutrition education and food demonstrations, and a pop-up produce market that will provide organic and local produce to the community at below-market prices and with EBT (Food Stamp) access. Furthermore, by incorporating our rooftop garden herbs, vegetables, and fruit into our produce market, we will not only be making Skid Row a healthy food access point, but a source as well.

Part-time employees, hired from the homeless and extremely low-income constituency in our community, will staff the market and provide outreach and nutrition education. Initially the market will operate weekly in the courtyard in front of our building. This will allow the market to also serve as an entry point for our housing stability and homelessness prevention programming, which includes know your rights training and education, housing and homelessness policy advocacy, and legal services. Additionally, the eventual expansion of our market to other areas in the community, such as public parks, high-foot traffic areas, and social service provider locations, will further meet our goals of eliminating barriers to healthy food access and directly connecting residents to all of our health and wellness programming.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.


When approaching our work, we strategically follow a model of ongoing: planning-implementation-evaluation-decision making. Our criteria for evaluation is rooted in two questions: 1) Has our strategy engaged, empowered, and educated both new and existing low-income community leaders?; and 2) Has our strategy led to policy or practices change that strengthens human rights and equitably distributes resources among all stakeholders, with direct benefits to low-income people of color?

We will supplement this general evaluation approach with community surveys that will help inform our market and nutrition education choices before we launch. Out of these survey participants, we will create a community team of 10-12 residents who are participating in our project and that we will regularly convene to track their purchasing, engagement in nutritional programming, and overall health and wellness outcomes.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

Other (please specify below):

2 Pink talk bubble tail c96b4a07ef1417e25d0bcf5c4cba4766b8bbf0382f07677990a9d5577885d4d7

This is a very workable project by a group rooted in the community that can also serve as a model for other neighborhoods. With 13,000 people becoming homeless each month, LA needs economic models to address hopelessness as well as homelessness, and give people not just a means to survive but a way to thrive that involves their participation as more than just recipients of services or temporary wage earners.

by FrankT
6 months ago

LACAN empowers people to help themselves. The interactive communication among all participants coming together within the community results in educating, motivating, and affirming beliefs and confidence for the residents to subsequently take necessary actions to help themselves and their community.

M.Alma Horvath, retired member, Board of Directors

by malmahorvath
6 months ago

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Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
Circle 1 inactive e7784182a1bd5eace578987db27fc19ec6337f418c48c6c8732605b9043d50d0 Step1 title submission inactive cde083e53089b973e7c9dc80a44a038c1ce4cf3b2650aeb5549157d1ed58a2d9

Submission Began
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Submission Ended
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
at 07:00 PM UTC

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Voting Began
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Voting Ended
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
at 08:00 PM UTC

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Winner Announced
Tuesday, December 08, 2015