100th Formerly Homeless Woman Graduates From Paid Job Training Program

Women’s Empowerment’s paid training program, The Get A Job Kit, celebrated its 100th graduate in July. The program also graduated its first two lead supervisors who will oversee production. The Get A Job Kit provides formerly homeless women with 120 hours of training in production, customer service, quality assurance, forklift operation, shipping and receiving industries. Over four weeks, trainees are paid to assemble the Get A Job Kits to fill customer orders while receiving hands-on training, performance evaluations and relevant job experience. Women’s Empowerment is one of the only nonprofits in Sacramento providing paid job training to formerly homeless women, allowing women to gain financial stability while getting the work experience they need to succeed. More than 70 percent of The Get A Job Kit graduates have secured stable employment.

“We serve many homeless women who are ready to work but lack current job experience or have been out of the workforce for more than three years. The Get A Job Kit offers an innovative solution to this problem, providing women with hands-on training, invaluable work experience and a paycheck,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “I could not be more proud of the 100 women who have worked hard in this program and now are more prepared than ever to land a job that supports their families.”

The Get A Job Kit was launched under Women’s Empowerment’s name in 2014 after the business was donated by local entrepreneur Shirley Willey who created and ran the business for nearly 25 years. The Get A Job Kit has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and CNBC, and in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times. The award-winning kit is an all-in-one career organizer designed to help organizations across the country empower job seekers of all ages and backgrounds. All profits from the sales of The Get A Job Kit are reinvested in the program, ensuring homeless women can continue accessing this vital paid training. Since launching the small business, Women’s Empowerment has sold more than 20,000 kits to Career Technical Education programs, high schools, veteran programs, nonprofits, vocational and technical colleges and anti-recidivism programs. For more information or to purchase The Get a Job Kit: www.getajobkit.com.

“The Get A Job Kit was the next step I needed to regain my confidence and fill that gap in my resume,” said Get A Job Kit graduate Kristin Hawkins who is now working as a property manager of a 48-unit community where she now lives. “And to receive a paycheck was so helpful. I really earned that paycheck by working hard every day.”

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 1,527 homeless women and their 3,684 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. For more information: www.womens-empowerment.org.

Women’s Empowerment Gala Raises More Than $214,000

Five hundred guests at Women’s Empowerment’s 17th Annual Celebration of Independence Gala raised more than $214,000 to support the organization’s job training program for women and mothers experiencing homelessness in Sacramento. The event, which took place at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Sacramento, had 75 graduates of the program in attendance dressed in ballgowns donated by the community. The evening included a formal dinner, live and silent auctions, live music and inspiring speeches from program graduates.

Mayor Darrell Steinberg presented Amanda Buccina and Rennie Jemmings of Sutter Health with the 2018 To Heal the World Award, created in honor of Women’s Empowerment’s founding social worker Erie Shockey. The award recognizes a local hero who inspires others to engage in social change and make Sacramento a better place for all. The two nurses were honored for providing street medical care to people who are homeless in Sacramento.

“This event is a powerful reminder that when we come together as a community we can break the cycle of homelessness,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “From the generosity of our donors to the inspiring words of our program graduates, the Gala was a magical night of celebration. The critical donations raised that night will fund our vital mission of ending homelessness through empowerment and employment.”

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 1,527 homeless women and their 3,684 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.

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.

Graduate Sponsors Needed for Women’s Empowerment Gala

Community members are invited to sponsor a graduate or buy tickets to attend the 17th Annual Celebration of Independence Gala that benefits Women’s Empowerment, a local nonprofit job training and empowerment program for women who are homeless and their children. The event, which raises funds for the organization and honors the group’s 1,503 graduates, will take place 5:30-8:45 p.m. on May 23 at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 2001 Point West Way, Sacramento. Guests will mingle with graduates from the program and enjoy a formal dinner, live and silent auctions, live music and presentations from the graduates.

Tickets are $125. Those who cannot attend, or wish to contribute more, can sponsor graduates to attend the event. For tickets or sponsorship opportunities, call (916) 669-2307 or visit www.womens-empowerment.org.

Women’s Empowerment also will announce the winner of the 2018 To Heal the World Award. This award, created in honor of their founding social worker, Erie Shockey, recognizes a local hero who inspires others to engage in social change and makes the Sacramento community a better place for all.

“This event is truly the bridge that connects donors with women who have overcome homelessness thanks to their generosity,” said Lisa Culp, executive director of Women’s Empowerment. “The Annual Gala is our largest fundraiser of the year, but it also brings the community together to celebrate these incredible women who have risen from homelessness, rejoined our workforce and broken the cycle of homelessness so that their children can succeed. ”

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 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.

Women’s Empowerment Receives $25K From Save Mart

Save Mart Companies C.A.R.E.S. Foundation recently presented Women’s Empowerment with a grant for $25,000 to support health and employment programs for homeless women. Funds will provide weekly domestic violence support groups, cooking and nutrition classes, and wellness and recovery groups. Funds also will support onsite employment specialists and social workers who help homeless women secure employment, regain housing and create a healthier lifestyle.

“The majority of our students are survivors of domestic violence, and many struggle with substance abuse, mental health challenges, diabetes and high blood pressure,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “We believe that employment is the best long-term solution to ending homelessness, but securing a job first starts with ensuring you can be a healthy, active employee. We are so grateful to Save Mart for continuing to prioritize the health of homeless women and children in our community.”

The grant check was presented by Victoria Castro, Save Mart Companies public affairs manager, and Andy Butler, Save Mart store manager, at a Women’s Empowerment graduation ceremony.

“Through the Save Mart C.A.R.E.S. Foundation, The Save Mart Companies has had the pleasure of working with Women’s Empowerment for the past eight years,” Castro said. “We are so proud to partner with such an amazing group like Women’s Empowerment with all of the invaluable services they provide to the community.”

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.

Sacramento Singers and Artists Raise $13,000 for Women’s Empowerment

Photo by Manny Chavez Photography

More than 230 people raised $13,000 at Cabaret on K, sponsored by Capital Public Radio, which benefited Sacramento homeless women and children at local nonprofit Women’s Empowerment. Hosted in September in the newly opened basement at Capitol Plaza Ballrooms on K Street, the night featured performances of cabaret and jazz favorites with a mix of classical and musical theatre pieces. Artwork from local artists was on display and for sale, with 50 percent of the proceeds going directly to Women’s Empowerment. Funds raised will help women as they break the cycle of homelessness and build a brighter future for their families.

“Our Cabaret on K fundraiser was a great success,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “Thanks to our singers, performers, donors, volunteers and our thriving local arts scene, we raised more than $12,000 to fund our mission of ending homelessness for good. It was a truly transformative night.”

Participating musicians included Carrie Hennessey, Omari Tau, Jen Reason, Sarah Fitch and Capital Public Radio’s Kevin Doherty. Artists Michele Knight, Whitney Lofrano, Art Street’s Angela Tannehill and Wide Open Walls muralist Norm Ayles sold pieces of art throughout the evening. Well-known local artist David Garibaldi also was in attendance.

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 1,457 homeless women and their 3,500 children. 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, visit www.womens-empowerment.org.

Women’s Empowerment Receives $25K From US Bank

U.S. Bank Foundation’s Community Possible program has awarded a $25,000 grant to Women’s Empowerment. The grant will support classes and programs that help homeless women gain the skills and confidence they need to secure a job and create a brighter future for their children.

“We are so impressed with U.S. Bank’s commitment to breaking the cycle of homelessness in our community,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “This generous donation will ensure homeless women can get a job, become financially self-sufficient and provide their children with a safe, stable home. We are very grateful to U. S. Bank for their investment in ending homelessness.”

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, financial literacy, 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, and job retention services for employer and employee. 

“The building blocks of a thriving community where all things are possible include stable employment opportunities, a home to call your own and a community connected through a culture of arts, recreation and play,” said Jessica Cook, product manager with U.S. Bank and Women’s Empowerment board member. “Women’s Empowerment provides the most comprehensive solution in Sacramento for women and children who are homeless. At U.S. Bank we believe in Community Possible and are proud to have Women’s Empowerment as one of our partners 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 1,437 homeless women and their 3,500 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. 

Community Possible is the corporate giving and volunteer program at U.S. Bank, focused on the areas of Work, Home and Play. The company invests in programs that provide stable employment, a safe place to call home and a community connected through arts, culture, recreation and play. Philanthropic support through the U.S. Bank Foundation and corporate giving program reached $54.2 million in 2016. Visit www.usbank.com/community.

Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, with $464 billion in assets as of June 30, 2017, is the parent company of U.S. Bank National Association, the fifth largest commercial bank in the United States. The company operates 3,088 banking offices in 25 states and 4,826 ATMs and provides a comprehensive line of banking, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at www.usbank.com

Women’s Empowerment Receives $25K From Kaiser, Arata Brothers Trust

Arata Brothers Trust and Kaiser Permanente recently gave grants to Sacramento nonprofit Women’s Empowerment’s comprehensive job-readiness programs for women experiencing homelessness. Arata Brothers Trust donated $15,000 to Women’s Empowerment’s nine-week program that helps women who are homeless overcome barriers so they can find homes and jobs. Kaiser Permanente donated $10,000 to Women’s Empowerment’s domestic violence and substance abuse support groups that help women who are homeless overcome the effects of domestic violence and substance abuse so they can find safe homes, steady work and a healthy lifestyle.

“We know that employment is the best way to end homelessness,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “But it takes more than just a resume to secure a job. The majority of women we serve are survivors of domestic violence and are also seeking help as they maintain a clean-and-sober lifestyle. With funding from Arata Brothers Trust and Kaiser Permanente, we are able to help homeless women regain the skills they need to get and keep a job so they can create a safe future for their families. Thank you to Arata Brothers Trust and Kaiser Permanente for their lasting impact on the lives of homeless women and children in this 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, financial literacy, 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, 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 1,437 homeless women and their 3,500 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.

Sac Singers and Artists Go Underground to Raise Funds for Women’s Empowerment

From the newly opened basement at Capitol Plaza Ballrooms on K Street will rise the voices of some of Sacramento’s most renowned musicians on Sept. 9. The Cabaret on K fundraiser, sponsored by Capital Public Radio, will benefit homeless women and children at local nonprofit Women’s Empowerment and will include performances of cabaret and jazz favorites with a mix of classical and musical theatre pieces. Artwork from local artists will be on display and for sale, with 50 percent of the proceeds going directly to Women’s Empowerment.

Cabaret on K will take place from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at Capitol Plaza Ballrooms, 1025 9th Street in Sacramento. Guests will enjoy complimentary desserts and drinks for purchase. Tickets are $50, and guests must be age 21 and older to attend. For tickets, visit www.womens-empowerment.org

“Some of Sacramento’s most notable voices will literally speak for those who are voiceless – the homeless women and children in our community,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “These singers and local artists will transform the basement of Capitol Plaza Ballrooms, a perfect metaphor for how women and children are transforming their lives every day here in Sacramento as they work to break the cycle of homelessness. We hope everyone will come out to celebrate these hard-working women and our thriving local arts scene.” 

Participating musicians include Carrie Hennessey, Omari Tau, Jen Reason, Sarah Fitch and Capital Public Radio’s Kevin Doherty. Artists Michele Knight, Whitney Lofrano, Art Street’s Angela Tannehill and Wide Open Walls muralist Norm Ayles will have pieces for sale.

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 1,437 homeless women and their 3,500 children. 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, visit www.womens-empowerment.org

Tickets on sale for Women’s Empowerment’s Annual Gala

Community members are invited to the 16th Annual Celebration of Independence Gala that benefits Women’s Empowerment, a local nonprofit job training and empowerment program for women who are homeless and their children. The event, which raises funds for the organization and honors the group’s 1,411 graduates, will take place 5:30-8:45 p.m. on May 17 at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 2001 Point West Way, Sacramento. Guests will mingle with graduates from the program and enjoy a formal dinner, live and silent auctions, live music and presentations from the graduates.

Tickets are $125. Those who cannot attend, or wish to contribute more, can sponsor a graduate to attend the event. For tickets or sponsorship opportunities, call (916) 669-2307 or visit www.womens-empowerment.org.

“This event is like no other in Sacramento,” said Lisa Culp, executive director of Women’s Empowerment. “Rarely will you attend a fundraiser where donors and community members have the chance to meet and talk with women who have overcome homelessness. It’s our largest fundraiser of the year, but it’s also a night filled with laughter, tears and joy as we celebrate the incredible women who have shared their journeys with us.”

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 children. 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.