Women’s Empowerment Receives $50K from Kelly Foundation

Women’s Empowerment has received $50,000 from the Kelly Foundation to sublease housing at a discounted rate to women experiencing homelessness in Sacramento. This year, the Sacramento nonprofit created its subleasing program for graduates of its program who are working but still cannot afford a home during the ongoing housing crisis.

“To afford a one-bedroom apartment in Sacramento, a woman now must make at least $26 per hour, yet on average our graduates earn about $17 per hour in their first three months of work,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “That would be impossible math if it weren’t for generous donors like the Kelly Foundation stepping in and helping us create a solution that works. Our graduates need housing they can afford with mid- to entry-level salaries so they can retain jobs, secure promotions, rebuild credit and qualify for market–rate housing.”

Women’s Empowerment is a sublessor at an apartment complex in downtown Sacramento, subleasing four apartments to qualifying graduates for a 12-month lease. Each tenant is carefully screened and charged rent equal to Women’s Empowerment’s rent payment. She meets at least monthly onsite with a housing specialist, and if needed with a social worker and employment specialist. Women’s Empowerment has three additional graduates subleasing other homes, and the organization is in final negotiations with a gated development that would allow them to sublease multiple cottages for up to 24 months while women work to improve their credit score, rental history, savings and move up the career ladder to afford market-rate housing.

“Women’s Empowerment directly impacts the lives of women ready for change, and we are excited to partner with an organization that helps the community thrive one life at a time,” said Shawn Kelly Devlin, chairman of the board of the Kelly Foundation and River City Bank. “We’re confident this donation toward housing will support women in need to become self-sufficient after experiencing such challenging circumstances.”

Women’s Empowerment provides a two-month employment-readiness and empowerment program, paid job training, childcare and support services so women and their children can break the generational cycle of homelessness. Women’s Empowerment offers the most comprehensive job-readiness program in the Sacramento area designed specifically for women experiencing homelessness and their children. On average, 70% of women in the program find housing despite the ongoing housing crisis. Last year, 142 job placements were achieved by Women’s Empowerment graduates. Since its founding in 2001, the award-winning organization has graduated 1,781 women and their 3,893 children. Women’s Empowerment is funded through private donations from the community and grants. To make a donation: Womens-Empowerment.org

Brothers Jon and Bob Kelly, who ran the Sacramento NBC affiliate KCRA3 for decades, established the Kelly Foundation in 1988 as the formal vehicle for making charitable contributions to the communities in which they lived for much of their lives and achieved success in business. Jon Kelly founded River City Bank, and in 2009 the River City Bank Foundation merged with the Kelly Foundation. The Kelly Foundation is one of the largest charitable-giving foundations in the Sacramento region. For more information: KellyFoundationSacramento.org.