Three foundations each recently awarded $10,000 to Sacramento nonprofit Women’s Empowerment that educates and empowers women who are homeless to find a safe home, steady job and healthy lifestyle. The grant from Kaiser Permanente funds the nonprofit’s support groups for women who have faced domestic violence and substance abuse. Bank of America granted funds for Women’s Empowerment’s job training programs, and Arata Brothers Trust provided funding for the group’s overall program.
“We rely on the community to fund our comprehensive approach to ending homelessness for women and children, and we are fortunate to live in a community that does just that,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “We are grateful to Kaiser, Bank of America and Arata Brothers Trust for providing steadfast funding that helps women overcome the many barriers to homelessness and transform their lives.”
In Women’s Empowerment’s initial eight-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 eight-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.
Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, Women’s Empowerment was recently featured on NBC’s TODAY Show and on CNN.com for offering 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 1,367 homeless women and their 3,500 children. Last year, 93 percent of graduates found homes and 83 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.