Women’s Empowerment Receives $30K in Grants

Kaiser Permanente, Bank of America and American River Bank each recently donated $10,000 to Sacramento nonprofit Women’s Empowerment to help homeless women find jobs and recover from substance abuse and domestic violence.

“Just as there are so many challenges that lead women into homelessness, there are so many giving people and organizations that empower women to climb out of homelessness and break the cycle for generations to come,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “Thank you to Kaiser, Bank of America and American River Bank for recognizing the complications caused by homelessness and Women’s Empowerment’s powerful solutions.”

At Women’s Empowerment, 75 percent of women in the program have experienced family and domestic violence, and 69 percent are in recovery from drugs and alcohol. The grant from Kaiser funds Women’s Empowerment’s substance abuse support groups as well as its domestic violence learning and support groups.

Bank of America’s grant supports Women’s Empowerment’s initial eight-week job-readiness program and its graduate services. In the eight-week program, women receive free onsite child care in Women’s Empowerment’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 and empowerment, taught almost exclusively by volunteers from the Sacramento area. She receives health services onsite and is connected to additional health services in the community. She is then able to implement changes that lead to a healthy body, safe home and steady paycheck.

Graduate services are offered to program graduates to ensure they continue to have long-term success. Services include paid job training, online certifications, counseling with a social worker, GED preparation, job development, access to a professional clothing closet, financial literacy classes and matched savings accounts.

American River Bank provided funding for one of Women’s Empowerment’s paid job training programs, The Get A Job Kit, which includes dozens of tools and hundreds of tips to help job seekers of all backgrounds organize a successful job search. The program, which celebrated its first anniversary in April, trains graduates in the production, customer service, shipping and receiving industries. Trainees assemble The Get A Job Kits to send to customers and receive training on safety in the workplace, conflict resolution and quality assurance. Last year, 24 graduates completed The Get A Job Kit training, and 70 percent are now employed with local businesses. In the first year of business, the 24 graduates sold and shipped more than 5,000 Get A Job Kits across the country.

Recently featured on NBC’s TODAY Show, 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 1,247 homeless women and their 2,648 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.