Formerly Homeless Women and Kids Receive Gifts and Craft Supplies

More than 130 women and children who have experienced homelessness came in shifts to Women’s Empowerment on Dec. 12 to pick up holiday gifts and a Craft Party in a Box donated by the community. Local residents contributed to the group’s Holiday Gifts and Crafts Drive that included specific fillers for children, teens and women, including warm hats, gloves, socks, gift cards, holiday candy, water bottles, notebooks and more. Donations of craft supplies allowed Women’s Empowerment to provide a Craft Party in a Box for each family since this year the group could not hold its annual craft party for women and children to make holiday gifts for their loved ones.

“The holiday spirit was alive and well as we saw recent graduates and those we had not seen in years come by to pick up these special gifts from the community, even though we could not hold our annual craft party,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “We are grateful to the community for their generous donations that allowed us to provide each family with a Craft Party in a Box so they could still experience the dignity of gift-making during this season of giving.”

Women’s Empowerment’s programs combine employment readiness, self-esteem courses, health classes and services, support services and paid job training to help women overcome homelessness across diverse ages, races and cultures. 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 1,697 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. Women’s Empowerment is funded through private donations from the community and grants. To donate: Womens-Empowerment.org.

Women’s Empowerment Receives $15K From Union Pacific

Women’s Empowerment has received $15,000 from Union Pacific’s Community Ties giving program to provide its job-readiness program, paid on-the-job training and other services for women who are homeless or recently have experienced homelessness.

“We are thankful to Union Pacific for providing much needed funds as we see a sharp spike in need from the pandemic,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “In addition to women who are currently experiencing homelessness, we are helping more than 150 graduates of our program who have lost their jobs during the pandemic and need additional training and services to compete for jobs during this time of high unemployment so they can stay in their homes.”

Women’s Empowerment’s programs combine employment readiness, self-esteem courses, health services and education, counseling, housing assistance, job placement and paid job training to help women overcome homelessness across diverse ages, races and cultures. 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 have experienced homelessness and their children. The award-winning organization has graduated 1,697 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. Women’s Empowerment is funded through private donations from the community and grants. To donate: Womens-Empowerment.org.

Union Pacific’s Community Ties giving program works to build safe, prosperous and vibrant communities by investing in nonprofits and programs in the cities and towns in which Union Pacific operates and its employees live and work. For more than 150 years, Union Pacific has been committed to serving as an economic engine and improving the standard of life for millions across the country. For more information: www.up.com/aboutup/community/foundation/index.htm.

Women’s Empowerment Receives $75K From Wells Fargo

Women’s Empowerment has received $75,000 from Wells Fargo to provide workforce development skills, paid job training, job search assistance and housing support during the pandemic for women who are currently homeless or have recently experienced homelessness. Wells Fargo has been one of Women’s Empowerment’s longest funders, giving $442,450 since 2008.

“This profoundly generous gift from Wells Fargo will have a powerful effect on our community as we all work together to weather the storms of the pandemic, high unemployment and continued housing crisis,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “We are grateful to Wells Fargo for its longtime leadership in our community and for recognizing the essential role of nonprofits like ours in addressing this triple threat that has the most devastating impact on women and children without homes.”

Women’s Empowerment’s programs combine employment readiness, self-esteem courses, health services and education, counseling, housing assistance, job placement and paid job training to help women overcome homelessness across diverse ages, races and cultures. 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.

“Women’s Empowerment does more than provide women with the support, tools and resources needed to obtain a job and become self-sufficient,” said Kären Woodruff, Wells Fargo vice president of social impact and sustainability in Northern California. “It also – and perhaps most importantly – helps its clients open their eyes to see their strength, worth and potential, and that’s invaluable! We are honored to continue to support Women’s Empowerment and the work it does to lift women in their time of need.”

The award-winning organization has graduated 1,691 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. Women’s Empowerment is funded through private donations from the community and grants. To donate: Womens-Empowerment.org.

Holiday Gifts and Craft Supplies Needed at Women’s Empowerment

During this difficult year, local residents can bring joy to formerly homeless women and children in Sacramento this holiday season by contributing to Women’s Empowerment’s Holiday Gifts and Crafts Drive. The group is seeking 300 unstuffed gift bags and specific fillers for children, teens and women. Gifts for teens and women are especially needed. Women’s Empowerment also needs craft supplies to provide a Craft Party in a Box for each family since this year the group cannot hold its annual craft party for women and children to make holiday gifts for their loved ones. For a list of gift and craft needs, visit Womens-Empowerment.org. Items are needed by Dec. 8.

“There is dignity in both receiving and giving gifts, so each year we provide an opportunity for the women and children in our program to receive holiday gifts and to make gifts for their loved ones,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “2020 has been at best difficult and at worst tragic for the women and children we serve. Providing gifts and our Craft Party in a Box will bring unspeakable joy and dignity to these women and children who have survived such a challenging year.”

Thanks to donations, Women’s Empowerment will include a warm hat, gloves and socks in each gift bag for the women and children. For those interested in making a financial donation toward a gift bag, the average cost is $40, but any amount helps. Women’s Empowerment also needs extra $15-$20 gift cards for Target, Walmart and grocery stores for emergency needs throughout the year.

Women’s Empowerment’s programs combine employment readiness, self-esteem courses, health classes and services, support services and paid job training to help women overcome homelessness across diverse ages, races and cultures. 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 1,691 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. Women’s Empowerment is funded through private donations from the community and grants. To donate: Womens-Empowerment.org.

Six Women Graduate From Women’s Empowerment During Pandemic

Six women once homeless gathered with staff at Women’s Empowerment for a ceremony earlier this month to celebrate their graduation from the seven-week employment-readiness and empowerment program for women experiencing homelessness in Sacramento. Most Women’s Empowerment graduation ceremonies include nearly 100 guests – family members, friends, donors, volunteers and more – but despite the lack of audience and much smaller class size, the ceremony still meant the same for each individual. Each of the women had risen from homelessness and is now in housing – half having already secured jobs, despite the pandemic raging across Sacramento County.

“For many of us, the world feels upside down with the pandemic and stay-at-home order,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, in her ceremony speech. “But when the women here today were homeless, their world felt more than upside down. They thought their world was over. Homelessness is isolating in a way no one can understand who is quarantining in a safe home. But the women of Session 79 found each other and lept over the obstacles of being homeless during a pandemic to emerge triumphant.”

Session 79 was originally scheduled to begin in April but was postponed due to the stay-at-home order. Adhering to social distancing recommendations, Women’s Empowerment accepted only a third of its usual number of participants into the session that began in late June. Each participant worked one-on-one with a master’s level social worker and employment specialist, both on staff at Women’s Empowerment. She attended a range of classes on job-readiness, financial literacy, computer skills, empowerment and more – many taught virtually by skilled volunteers from the community. She received health services and could join support groups and receive legal help, as needed. All graduates of Women’s Empowerment are eligible for its graduate services, which include paid job training programs.

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 1,687 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.  

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.