The Joseph & Vera Long Foundation has donated $10,000 to help homeless women in Sacramento improve their health so they can find homes and jobs to support their families through Women’s Empowerment’s comprehensive program.
“Breaking the cycle of homelessness requires more than a house or job, and Women’s Empowerment has recognized that from day one,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “A multi-pronged approach is critical to address the root causes of homelessness so women can meet their families’ basic needs, such as food, shelter and clothing. Through health programs and job-readiness training, formerly homeless mothers can become healthy, successful employees who provide a stable life for themselves and their children, ending homelessness for good. We are grateful to the Joseph & Vera Long Foundation for recognizing the important role health plays in ending homelessness.”
At Women’s Empowerment, 75 percent of women in the program have experienced family and domestic violence, 69 percent struggle with drug and alcohol recovery and 59 percent have a mental health diagnosis. Other health-related problems include clinical depression, high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes and more. Their children are twice as likely to experience stress, illness and developmental delays.
Women’s Empowerment provides education on women’s health, nutrition, family violence prevention and relapse prevention. They provide access to health care, including eye exams and glasses, onsite HIV testing and counseling, dental care, office visits and care from a private physician, child development assessments, yoga, fitness, nutrition, wellness and recovery groups and more. Social workers also provide counseling and advocacy for women, helping them apply for health benefits and coverage for which they are eligible.
Women’s Empowerment also partners with nonprofits and private dentists, physicians and nurses to help women address their health issues and begin preventative measures. Women are taught self-breast exams and receive pap smears and breast exams. Classes on mental health issues are provided by a licensed clinical social worker. Women are assisted in filling out forms to access services such as mammograms.
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 1,201 homeless women and their 2,600 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.
The Joseph & Vera Long Foundation seeks to improve the health and well-being of the residents of Northern California and Hawaii. They aim to make a difference by providing financial support to organizations that provide needed health support services, advance patient care and medical treatment through research and innovation, and improve the quality of life of those afflicted by life-limiting disease or conditions. For more information, visit www.jvlf.org.