Vicki Brock accepts a commendation from California State Senate at the Women’s Empowerment graduation in early December. Brock is Women’s Empowerment’s 1,100th graduate.

Women’s Empowerment graduates 1,100th formerly homeless woman

News

Sacramento resident Vicki Brock had worked for 26 years until she lost her job last year and became homeless. Earlier this month, the 47-year-old became Women’s Empowerment’s 1,100th graduate and is now working to become a physical therapy assistant.

Brock graduated with 28 other women who are no longer homeless. More than 200 community members, including graduates’ mentors and families, attended the graduation where each graduate shared her story and future plans through poetry and reflections centered around the theme, “We came, we saw, we conquered.” Each woman received a new, donated handbag filled with a day planner and other items designed to help her succeed. Graduation was sponsored by NuStar Energy, and the reception was prepared by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Carmichael Stake.

“These women had a mountain to climb,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “The fact is: The safety net in Sacramento is unraveling at an unprecedented rate. Yet despite even more services being cut in the community, the women in this session held onto each other and reached the top of the mountain. We are so proud of the graduates of Session 53!”

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 2009 Nonprofit of the Year has graduated 1,115 homeless women and their more than 2,500 children. Last year, 90 percent of graduates found homes and nearly 80 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.