helping hundreds of homeless women and children in our community
United Way California Capital Region is proud to have Women’s Empowerment as one of its 142 certified agencies in our five-county region: Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo. Women’s Empowerment strives to educate and empower women who are homeless with the skills and confidence necessary to get a job, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and regain a home for themselves and their children.
“Ten years ago while working at Loaves & Fishes, I watched homeless mothers raising their children on the streets. I saw these children grow up, still homeless, to become mothers of new babies born into homelessness. I wanted to end this cycle,” Executive Director, Lisa Culp said. Culp and her staff provide wrap-around services for the women who enter the eight-week program.
The volunteer led and supported program includes comprehensive services from physical exams, eye screening, physical fitness and nutrition preparedness, job and interview skills, computer skills training, and one-on-one counseling. Local partners like Intel Corporation, Bank of America, VSP, Western Dental, Pipeworks and individual volunteers help provide these crucial services for the women in the program. The children of the women also receive a wide variety of support. Day care, developmental assessments, education advocacy and health care are provided so the women and the children in the program become whole together.
Women’s Empowerment opened in 2001 and has served 658 women and 612 of their children. The struggling economy has had a major impact on the program and the homeless population they serve. They can accept 40 women into each eight-week session and recently have had to turn away approximately 20 women or more per session. “The face of homelessness is very different than the average person thinks,” says Culp. “Fifty eight percent of the women who enter our doors are homeless for the first time and eighty nine percent of the women are victims of domestic violence.”
While Women’s Empowerment has a core group of dedicated volunteers, they’re always looking for new ones. Volunteers with a strong business background are needed as Women’s Empowerment looks to expand their program into social enterprise and provide long lasting jobs for the women they serve.