EXHIBITION DATES: August 17, 2019  – October 26, 2019
Thu, Fri, Sat: 2-5-pm
Skid Row History Museum and Archive,250 S. Broadway

OPENING EVENT: August 17th 6pm – Hear from these pet champions and the visual artists involved in the exhibition in person: David Askew, Helen Kim, Marissa de la Torre, Emma Newton, Diane Prado, Lori Weise and James Gilliam.

DESCRIPTION:
Having a pet can be a great comfort if you are on the street.  In many cases, it’s also a barrier to getting off the street.  Our furry friends can also be cited as reason for an eviction.  Fortunately there are a bunch of people and organizations working to address these concerns.

DOGS IN THE HOUSE showcases the work of organizations, My Dog is My Home, Housing Equality and Advocacy Resource Team, Downtown Dog Rescue, and Inner City Law Center, that utilize advocacy, and direct services to overcome the obstacles faced by low income and homeless pet owners. The exhibit will feature multimedia works by artist Helen Kim, photographs by Marissa de la Torre, and paintings by visual artist David Askew.  Additional elements include a barkscape, sound installation, designed by Helen Kim and LAPD resident media archivist Henry Apodaca.  Settle into a dog shaped bean bag chair to view videos or listen to photo / audio collaged stories of Skid Row residents as they talk about themselves and their pets.

Advocacy group My Dog Is My Home works nationally, (including work in LA), to increase access to shelter and housing for people experiencing homelessness with companion animals.  LA based, Housing Equality and Advocacy Resource Team HEART LA, provides legal representation and advocacy to keep people and their animals housed.  Downtown Dog Rescue (DDR) rescues dogs and provides services for low income pet owners in Los Angeles County.  In partnership with DDR, Inner City Law Center hosts a free pet resource center in Skid Row, providing folks with much needed services, and also works to keep people and their pets together, enabling families to stay housed and decreasing the number of animals abandoned and entering the shelter system. Skid Rover distributes collars, leashes and kibble to people with pets living in Skid Row. Their newly launched Skid Rover program embodies this holistic approach to wellness by offering resources for our clients’ pets – family members who offer unconditional love and companionship. 

Read more about each organization and artist below.

PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS AND ARTIST BIOS:

David Askew: David Askew is more than an artist, he is a survivor.  Born and bred in Illinois, Askew’s personal suffering has brought him to the man he is today.  Varied multiple mediums are used to produce portraits that reveal a story.  He continues to paint upon request and his numerous talents have been well received by numerous audiences.  Askew is able to capture the slightest frown or smile, and the unspoken expression of the eyes, hoping that each painting encourages others to embrace peace, loge, and change for all.

Helen Kim: Helen H Kim (born Seoul, South Korea) is a multimedia artist working with photography, text, interactive performance, and social practice. Helen received her BA in Studio Art from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she studied under artists Barbara Drucker and Christopher Williams.  She also studied under Terry Atkinson, a founding member of the conceptual art collective Art & Language, at the University of Leeds, UK.  Her recent works include Go Back to Return Again (2017), exhibited at the Korean Cultural Centre India in New Delhi, and Home Is Where the Heart Is: Living in the Streets of Los Angeles (2018), exhibited at LSH Collaboration Laboratory in Los Angeles. Home Is Where the Heart Is received funding from the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and the California Mental Health Services Authority.  Helen lives and works in Los Angeles.

Marissa de la Torre: Marissa is a photographer based in Downtown Los Angeles who has been active in the humane treatment of animals for more than nine years.  She has committed the rest of her life to continue helping furry creatures find the loving homes they deserve through the power of photography. Marissa is a volunteer photographer for A Purposeful Rescue, Downtown Dog Rescue, and South La Animal Shelter. You can find what she’s up to @Marissadela on Instagram.

My Dog Is My Home: My Dog Is My Home is a national organization dedicated to preserving the human-animal bond in circumstances of homelessness. Our mission is to increase access to shelter and housing for people experiencing homelessness with companion animals. By using a capacity building approach, we promote the creation of systematic, macro-level responses to homelessness and animal companionship. Our activities normally fall within one of the following categories: research, technical assistance and consultation, and training and education.

HEART LA: Housing Equality & Advocacy Resource Team (HEART L.A.) was founded out of a passion to ensure people and their pets are protected and remain housed. Founder, Dianne Prado, combined her experience of being a housing attorney of ten years with her volunteer experience working at her local animal shelter and saw the huge need of helping renters with pets facing housing issues. Dianne is honored to be the owner of Falcor, a ten year-old dog that she found on the side of a busy L.A. freeway. When she stopped to help him, he rolled on his back and asked for a belly rub. Dianne has been providing Falcor with daily belly rubs and life filled with love ever since. At HEART L.A., we focus on advocating for people and pets in underserved communities. HEART L.A. provides free legal representation and addresses systemic issues in housing by addressing  policies and agency decisions that displace people and their companion animals.  Many individuals and families are being forced out of their homes due to having pets. New owners or deceitful managers use the threat of eviction to force out long-term tenants from rent-controlled properties so they can increase the rent. Heartbroken and desperate, these people believe they have no choice but to surrender their beloved pets to a shelter. In almost every circumstance, the threat of eviction was illegal. With the growing housing crisis in Los Angeles no one should be illegally evicted because of their companion animal.

Downtown Dog Rescue: Founded by Lori Weise, Downtown Dog Rescue is an all volunteer run 501C3 nonprofit organization that believes in second chances for both dogs and people. We rescue dogs and provide services for low income pet owners in underserved communities in Los Angeles County. Downtown Dog Rescue has paid for thousands of spay/neuter surgeries, has placed or fostered thousands of dogs, and has provided meals for many animals and the people who love them, whether they be homeless or just need a helping hand. After many years of working on Skid Row, Downtown Dog Rescue expanded to offer services in Compton, where living can be a challenge for residents, crime is eminent, and the euthanasia rate among pets is among the highest in Los Angeles.

Inner City Law Center:  Inner City Law Center is a nonprofit law firm that provides free legal services to the poorest and most vulnerable residents of Los Angeles. ICLC promotes access to decent, safe and fully habitable housing for the enormous number of homeless and working-poor families and individuals residing in Los Angeles’ inner city neighborhoods. In partnership with Downtown Dog Rescue, Inner City Law Center hosts a free pet resource center every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at our Skid Row location. The program “Woof Wednesday” has helped over 1,500 individuals and their pets by providing pet food, spay and neuter vouchers, pet supplies, and legal counsel to local residents.  While receiving help from DDR, pet owners have access to legal consultations from Inner City Law Center, including assistance with writing reasonable accommodation letters, defending against evictions, negotiating with landlords, and a host of other services.

Skid Rover distributes collars, leashes and kibble to people with pets living in Skid Row. Through a comprehensive offering of holistic physical health, behavioral health, housing, and quality-of-life services all rooted firmly in the principles of Harm Reduction, HHCLA tackles the pressing problems that people experiencing homelessness face every day. Our newly launched Skid Rover program embodies this holistic approach to wellness by offering resources for our clients’ pets – family members who offer unconditional love and companionship.