The #SheDoes movement is led by Mel Tillekeratne, a man who is dreaming of a future where all the homeless women are off the streets.
“I was at work, and saw that the Women’s March was happening a few blocks from Skid Row… but there was little mention of all the homeless women who were there,” Tillekeratne explained, “I saw all the energy at the march, and I wondered to myself, ‘How could we capture that energy, and use it to help these women?”
Tillekeratne is someone who never missed a day, always looking for a way to make a change.
“We need to help. There women deserve it. They’ve been exposed; some have experienced sexual assault or assault. I’ve seen the momentum that they had at the march. We can do this!” Tillekeratne said.
Since its inception this past January, the #SheDoes movement has already inspired some changes in the city.
On April 26, Mayor Eric Garcetti pledged to commit to have six shelters for homeless women by the end of the year.
“We’ve seen too many: from elderly women, women with children, and transgender women, we want to be open. We want to have these options to save lives.”
In a video posted on the She Does website (shedoesmovement.org), Garcetti shared his hopes for the future of housing in the city, and the changes he wishes will happen after taking the first step.
“For all of you, for making sure that our broken hearts heal and our big hearts help, I have one favor. Please come! Please come and say, ‘Yes, we want this!” Garcetti said.
East Los Angeles College sophomore Cathy Guay, an advocate for the #SheDoes crusade, hopes more students will take notice and be a part of the action. Louder voices need to seize the stage, and Guay believes #SheDoes is the perfect place to begin.
“This is the movement that finally got us noticed by the LA Council members and Mayor Garcetti,” said Guay, “The biggest change I hope to see are new shelters opening. There are so many people that need us. I want to see help for all the women who are being assaulted on a daily basis.”
The vision with #SheDoes is just coming together. With support from the mayor, the organization doesn’t plan to stop there. They want to push until the homeless find the housing and protection they need.
“We asked people, ‘Does she deserve to be safe, does she deserve shelter?’ and they said, she does!” Tillekeratne exclaimed.