Women’s Empowerment Receives $10K from SMUD

Women’s Empowerment recently received $10,000 from SMUD’s Sustainable Communities initiative to provide workforce development skills, paid job training and housing search assistance for women experiencing homelessness. 

 “We are grateful to SMUD for recognizing that communities are only sustainable when women and their families have a safe home and a stable income,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “SMUD’s generous donation will help us ensure women and their children have homes and jobs, especially during this pandemic.”

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 1,681 homeless women and their 3,792 children. Last year, 70 percent of graduates found homes in the midst of the housing crisis, and 79 percent secured jobs or enrolled in school or training. The program combines self-esteem courses, job training, health classes, support services and paid job training to help homeless women across diverse ages, races and cultures. Women’s Empowerment is funded through private donations from the community and grants. To donate: Womens-Empowerment.org.

“Our goal is to enhance the lives of those living in our community, and our Sustainable Communities Initiative focuses on those with the greatest need,” said Shiloh Costello, SMUD manager of Sustainable Communities.  “We are proud to help an organization that directly impacts hundreds of women and families in our area as they work to become self-sufficient.”

SMUD’s Sustainable Communities Initiative aligns with SMUD’s core purpose and vision to enhance the quality of life for all customers through innovative energy solutions. The program helps bring environmental equity and economic vitality to communities in SMUD’s service area, with special attention given to historically underserved neighborhoods. For more information, visit SMUD.org.

Women’s Empowerment Receives $15K From State Farm

Women’s Empowerment recently received $15,000 from State Farm to provide financial literacy and paid job training for women experiencing homelessness. Women’s Empowerment is one of the only nonprofits in Sacramento providing paid job training to women who are homeless.

“Paid job training is essential for women trying to rise from homelessness who need extra skills but also need a paycheck,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “We are grateful to State Farm for recognizing the critical gap these paid training programs fill, and for ensuring women are already financially literate when they receive their first paycheck.”

Women’s Empowerment’s Get A Job Kit paid training program is geared toward women with high barriers to employment and includes education and training in the field, assembly work, sales, customer service and job search assistance. The nonprofit’s REstart paid job training program provides training in property management, a field that often includes housing onsite. In partnership with the Institute of Real Estate Management Sacramento, Women’s Empowerment provides trainees with professional curriculum, job shadowing and property management certificates upon passing the exam.

Women’s Empowerment’s financial literacy program is woven into the group’s job-readiness program and provides financial empowerment courses, including budgeting, improving credit score and second chance checking. Classes focus on six financial capability behaviors: spending, saving, borrowing, visioning, protecting and maximizing income.

“Providing women with the opportunity to reach their full potential is key to building strong communities,” said State Farm Agent Moira Little. “We are honored to join Women’s Empowerment and help bring real change and stability to women and their families.”

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 1,681 homeless women and their 3,792 children. Last year, 70 percent of graduates found homes in the midst of the housing crisis, and 79 percent secured jobs or enrolled in school or training. The program combines self-esteem courses, job training, health classes, support services and paid job training to help homeless women across diverse ages, races and cultures. Women’s Empowerment is funded through private donations from the community and grants. To donate: Womens-Empowerment.org.  

State Farm and the State Farm Companies Foundation focus charitable grants on nonprofit initiatives that build safer, stronger and better-educated communities. For more information about State Farm’s community involvement: StateFarm.com/About-Us/Community-Involvement.

Women’s Empowerment Gala Goes Virtual May 21

With just a few clicks, community members can attend Women’s Empowerment’s annual gala fundraiser, this year a virtual event themed “WE are Resilient.” The local nonprofit job training and empowerment program for women who are homeless and their children raises a fifth of the organization’s annual budget through the gala, which honors the group’s 1,657 graduates. The event will take place from 6:00-6:45 p.m. and will include videos of the graduates, a live auction, presentation of the To Heal the World Award and Sacramento entertainment artist David Garibaldi in his home studio creating a resilience-themed painting. RSVP for the event at Womens-Empowerment.org to receive updates and a first look at auction items.

“As we see so much chaos and bad news around us, we are looking forward to shining the light of hope on May 21 as this community learns about the incredible women who have overcome homelessness despite obstacles like the housing crisis and pandemic,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “Women’s Empowerment is resilient because the women in our program are resilient. This year’s Gala attendees will be inspired.”

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 1,657 homeless women and their 3,792 children. Last year, 70 percent of graduates found homes in the midst of the housing crisis, and 79 percent secured jobs or enrolled in school or training. The program combines self-esteem courses, job training, health classes, support services and paid job training to help homeless women across diverse ages, races and cultures. Women’s Empowerment is funded through private donations from the community and grants. To donate: Womens-Empowerment.org.  

Filled Holiday Stockings Needed for Formerly Homeless Women

Local residents can bring smiles to formerly homeless women and children in Sacramento this holiday season by contributing to Women’s Empowerment’s annual Holiday Stocking Drive. The group is seeking 250 unstuffed stockings and specific fillers for local infants and toddlers, children, teens and women by Dec. 11. Stockings for teens and women are especially needed. For the list of items needed to fill each stocking, visit Womens-Empowerment.org.

“The women and children in our program have experienced such pain and isolation and are ready to start a new decade filled with hope and the comforts of a warm home,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “These stockings not only provide warm clothes for winter, they provide fun toys and gifts that help these amazing women and children experience joy this holiday season.”

Those interested also can donate $35-$40 to have a volunteer elf fill a stocking or donate $15-$20 gift cards for Target, Walmart and grocery stores. Items can be dropped off at 1590 A Street in Sacramento, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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 1,611 homeless women and their 3,701 children. Last year, 82 percent of graduates found homes and 76 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’sEmpowerment 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 .

Tickets on Sale for Women’s Empowerment Gala

Community members are invited to the 18th 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 1,574 graduates, will take place 5:30-8:45 p.m. on June 20 at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento, 1209 L Street. Guests will mingle with program graduates and enjoy a formal dinner, live and silent auctions, live music and graduate presentations. 

Tickets are $150. Those who cannot attend, or wish to contribute, can sponsor graduates to attend the event. For tickets or sponsorship opportunities, call (916) 669-2307 or visit www.womens-empowerment.org.

At the event, Women’s Empowerment will announce the winner of the 2019 To Heal the World Award, created in honor of founding social worker, Erie Shockey. The award, which was first given to Mayor Darrell Steinberg, recognizes a local hero who inspires others to engage in social change and makes the Sacramento community a better place for all.

“Joy and laughter fill the room every year at this beautiful event where donors, volunteers and community members have the chance to connect with women who were once homeless and invisible and are now wearing evening gowns and being celebrated for all they have accomplished,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “This gala not only celebrates the amazing women who break the cycle of homelessness each year, it also is our largest fundraiser of the year and ensures we can continue to meet the needs of homeless women in our community as Sacramento battles housing and homeless crises. This is a chance to come together and tackle these issues in a positive way.”

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 1,574 homeless women and their 3,627 children. Last year, 82 percent of graduates found homes and 76 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 U.S. Bank

Women’s Empowerment has received a $25,000 grant from U.S. Bank Foundation’s Community Possible program. The grant will fund job skills training, career-readiness classes and financial literacy programs for Sacramento women experiencing homelessness.

“U.S. Bank continues to invest in the bright futures of homeless women through its generous donations to our job-readiness programs,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “Our partnership with U.S. Bank ensures women can break the cycle of homelessness by gaining the skills needed to secure employment, regain a home and manage finances. When our mothers become financially self-sufficient, they create a better life for their children.”

Since 2001, Women’s Empowerment has been working to break the cycle of homelessness for women and children in Sacramento. In the 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. Financial empowerment courses are provided, including budgeting, improving credit score and second chance checking. With the help of volunteer teachers, women unlearn financial habits and create a step-by-step action plan for achieving their financial goals. 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 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. 

“At U.S. Bank, we invest in and support programs and organizations that help people succeed in the workforce and gain greater financial literacy,” said Jessica Cook, assistant vice president at U.S. Bank. “Through our Community Possible giving and engagement platform we are working to close the gaps between people and possibility. Our partnership with Women’s Empowerment is doing just that.”

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 1,554 homeless women and their 3,738 children. Last year, 82 percent of graduates found homes and 76 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. For more information: www.usbank.com/community.

Filled Stockings Needed for Formerly Homeless Women and Kids in Sacramento

Women's Empowerment graduate receives holiday stocking

Local residents can bring smiles to formerly homeless women and children in Sacramento this holiday season by contributing to Women’s Empowerment’s annual Holiday Stocking Drive. The group is seeking 250 unstuffed stockings and specific fillers for local infants and toddlers, children, teens and adult women by Dec. 5. For the list of items needed: www.womens-empowerment.org.

“The women and children in our program have known the coldest, loneliest holiday seasons. The community’s simple gift of stockings brings immeasurable joy along with warm winter accessories as they celebrate their first holiday season in a home they can call their own,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment.

Those interested also can donate $40 to have a volunteer elf fill a stocking or donate $15 Target gift cards. Items can be dropped off at 1590 North A Street in Sacramento, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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 1,543 homeless women and their 3,710 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.

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

Community members are invited to go underground on Oct. 27 to attend Cabaret on K, an evening of musical performances with a nod to Halloween, featuring a haunting mix of cabaret, jazz, classical and musical theatre pieces by Sacramento group Rogue Music Project. Guests are welcome to come in costume and will enjoy complimentary desserts and drinks for purchase.

The event, sponsored by Capital Public Radio, will take place in the Capitol Plaza Ballrooms basement, 1025 9th Street in Sacramento, and will raise funds for Women’s Empowerment’s job-readiness programs for homeless women and the group’s onsite center for homeless children. Nearly a dozen local artists will display and sell their work, with 50 percent of art proceeds donated to Women’s Empowerment. Tickets are $50 at www.womens-empowerment.org. Guests must be age 21 or older.

“Cabaret on K is the perfect opportunity to have a positive impact on your community while celebrating Sacramento’s thriving arts scene,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “Guests will enjoy live music and art while helping to end homelessness for women and their children.”

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 1,543 homeless women and their 3,710 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.

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.