Women’s Empowerment Receives $11,500 from American River Bank

American River Bank Foundation recently granted $11,500 to Sacramento nonprofit Women’s Empowerment to provide paid job training for homeless women through the group’s Get A Job Kit small business. Funding also will support Women’s Empowerment’s new property management training program REstart in partnership with the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) Sacramento.

“American River Bank Foundation’s funding has been absolutely vital as we’ve grown The Get A Job Kit small business over the past four years, ” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “We are so thankful to American River Bank Foundation and its continued investment in paid job training for women who are homeless. They stepped up to fund The Get A Job Kit, and now they’re making the same commitment by investing in our REstart program to train women in the field of property management.”

The Get A Job Kit was launched under Women’s Empowerment’s name in April 2014 after the business was donated by local entrepreneur Shirley Willey, who had created and run the business for nearly 25 years. The social enterprise trains graduates of Women’s Empowerment’s nine-week job-readiness program in the production, customer service, quality assurance, forklift operation, shipping and receiving industries. Over the course of five weeks, trainees are paid to assemble the Get A Job Kits, an all-in-one career organizer, to fill customer orders while receiving hands-on training, performance evaluations and relevant job experience. Since launching the small business, Women’s Empowerment has sold 15,000 Kits to high schools, veterans programs, nonprofits, vocational and technical colleges and anti-recidivism programs.

Women’s Empowerment’s recent partnership with IREM Sacramento provides Women’s Empowerment graduates with paid training in property management, a career that provides both stable employment and housing on the property being managed.

“As homelessness increases in our community, and finding affordable housing becomes even more challenging, we developed a strategic partnership that provides both income and housing,” Culp said. “We are grateful to American River Bank Foundation for seeing the value of this new, innovative training program.”

The Get A Job Kit and REstart are two components of Women’s Empowerment’s programs that end homelessness for women and children in Sacramento. Women’s Empowerment was featured on NBC’s The TODAY Show in 2015 for offering the most comprehensive job-readiness program in the Sacramento area designed specifically for women who are homeless and their children. The award-winning organization has graduated 1,503 homeless women and their 3,600 children. Last year, 92 percent of graduates found homes and 77 percent found jobs or enrolled in school or training. The program combines self-esteem courses, job training, health classes and support services to help homeless women across diverse ages, races and cultures. Women’s Empowerment is funded through private donations from the community and receives no government funding except for in-kind rent from the County of Sacramento. To make a donation: www.womens-empowerment.org. For more information or to purchase The Get a Job Kit, visit www.getajobkit.com.

Women’s Empowerment Receives $32,500 in Grants

Borchard Foundation, American River Bank and State Farm recently gave grants to Women’s Empowerment’s comprehensive job-readiness programs for women who are homeless. Borchard Foundation donated $12,500 and American River Bank and State Farm each donated $10,000.

“The work we do relies on community donations,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “It’s heartening to see these three organizations step forward with substantial gifts that will ensure more women can break the cycle of homelessness for themselves, their children and generations to come. We are extremely grateful to Borchard Foundation, American River Bank and State Farm for their generosity and care for the women and children in our community.”

In Women’s Empowerment’s initial nine-week program, women who are homeless receive free onsite child care in the group’s child development center and transportation assistance. Each woman works with a master’s level social worker to address her root causes of homelessness. She attends classes on job readiness, confidence building, health and empowerment, as well as support groups for domestic violence and substance abuse. Women then focus on job placement with their employment specialist and volunteer career mentor.

Women who have graduated from the nine-week program can enroll in the group’s graduate services at any point in their lives when they need assistance. Services include paid job training, vocational certifications, counseling with a social worker and employment specialist, access to a professional clothing closet, financial coaching and job retention services for employer and employee. 

Women’s Empowerment was featured on NBC’s The TODAY Show in 2015 for offering the most comprehensive job-readiness program in the Sacramento area designed specifically for women who are homeless and their children. The award-winning organization has graduated 1,411 homeless women and their thousands of children since 2001. Last year, 92 percent of graduates found homes, and 81 percent found jobs or enrolled in school or training. The program combines self-esteem courses, job training, health classes and support services to help homeless women across diverse ages, races and cultures. Women’s Empowerment is funded through private donations from the community and receives no government funding except for in-kind rent from the County of Sacramento. To make a donation: www.womens-empowerment.org.

Sacramento Life Center Receives $12.5K from American River Bank

Sac Life Center receives check from American River Bank

American River Bank has awarded a $12,500 grant to Sacramento Life Center for the nonprofit’s Mobile Medical Clinics that provide free medical services to low-income pregnant women, including pregnancy tests, STD tests, ultrasounds, peer counseling, education and resource referrals.

“This grant from American River Bank will almost fully cover the costs of having one of our Mobile Medical Clinics on the road one day a week for a year,” said Marie Leatherby, executive director, Sacramento Life Center. “We are grateful to American River Bank for supporting low-income pregnant women in our community and understanding the importance of women receiving care in their own neighborhood so transportation isn’t a barrier.”

For a schedule for the Mobile Medical Clinics, visit www.svpclinic.com.

“The Sacramento Life Center does amazing work coming alongside and supporting young women in need,” said David Taber, president and CEO, American River Bank. “This organization is truly a lifesaver.”

The Sacramento Life Center’s mission is to offer compassion, support, resources and free medical care to women and couples facing an unplanned or unsupported pregnancy. The Sacramento Life Center’s licensed Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic includes a primary clinic and two Mobile Medical Clinics that provide all services for free, including pregnancy tests, STD tests, ultrasounds, peer counseling for men and women, education and resource referrals. The nonprofit also offers a school-based teen education program, a 24-hour hotline and a program for women seeking support after having an abortion. For more information about the Sacramento Life Center’s Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic, visit www.svpclinic.com. For more information about the Sacramento Life Center or to make a donation, visit www.saclife.org.

Women’s Empowerment Receives $30K in Grants

Kaiser Permanente, Bank of America and American River Bank each recently donated $10,000 to Sacramento nonprofit Women’s Empowerment to help homeless women find jobs and recover from substance abuse and domestic violence.

“Just as there are so many challenges that lead women into homelessness, there are so many giving people and organizations that empower women to climb out of homelessness and break the cycle for generations to come,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “Thank you to Kaiser, Bank of America and American River Bank for recognizing the complications caused by homelessness and Women’s Empowerment’s powerful solutions.”

At Women’s Empowerment, 75 percent of women in the program have experienced family and domestic violence, and 69 percent are in recovery from drugs and alcohol. The grant from Kaiser funds Women’s Empowerment’s substance abuse support groups as well as its domestic violence learning and support groups.

Bank of America’s grant supports Women’s Empowerment’s initial eight-week job-readiness program and its graduate services. In the eight-week program, women receive free onsite child care in Women’s Empowerment’s child development center and transportation assistance. Each woman works with a master’s level social worker to address her root causes of homelessness. She attends classes on job-readiness, confidence building and empowerment, taught almost exclusively by volunteers from the Sacramento area. She receives health services onsite and is connected to additional health services in the community. She is then able to implement changes that lead to a healthy body, safe home and steady paycheck.

Graduate services are offered to program graduates to ensure they continue to have long-term success. Services include paid job training, online certifications, counseling with a social worker, GED preparation, job development, access to a professional clothing closet, financial literacy classes and matched savings accounts.

American River Bank provided funding for one of Women’s Empowerment’s paid job training programs, The Get A Job Kit, which includes dozens of tools and hundreds of tips to help job seekers of all backgrounds organize a successful job search. The program, which celebrated its first anniversary in April, trains graduates in the production, customer service, shipping and receiving industries. Trainees assemble The Get A Job Kits to send to customers and receive training on safety in the workplace, conflict resolution and quality assurance. Last year, 24 graduates completed The Get A Job Kit training, and 70 percent are now employed with local businesses. In the first year of business, the 24 graduates sold and shipped more than 5,000 Get A Job Kits across the country.

Recently featured on NBC’s TODAY Show, Women’s Empowerment offers the most comprehensive job-readiness program in the Sacramento area designed specifically for women who are homeless and their children. The 2014 Organization of the Year has graduated 1,247 homeless women and their 2,648 children. Last year, 89 percent of graduates found homes and 88 percent found jobs or enrolled in school or training. The program combines self-esteem courses, job training, health classes and support services to help homeless women across diverse ages, races and cultures. Women’s Empowerment is funded solely through private donations from the community. To donate online: www.womens-empowerment.org.