Feb 01, 2013
"At Women's Empowerment, I became a professional and regained my self-esteem. That came from the students I helped. I trained thirteen women to be bus drivers and now, thanks to their careers, they are no longer homeless. I was able to give them hope."
Feb 14, 2012
At Women's Empowerment's 2012 Annual Gala, Danielle shared her courageous story with an audience of over 500 people. We would like to share her story with you!
"My name is Danielle Keen; I am a Women’s Empowerment graduate from Session number 45. It was nearly two years ago I remember feeling terrified as if I had nothing and no one. I was addicted, pregnant, in jail, and I knew when I got out I’d be homeless. During that time I had a moment of clarity that I had nowhere to live and nowhere to fulfill the dreams of my unborn children."
Dec 07, 2011
Last December, Sharniece and her two young children opened Christmas presents on a park bench at 15th & C Streets under overcast skies. They were living in a homeless shelter. The gifts were from a nonprofit.
It was a bittersweet moment in a catastrophic year for Sharniece. She’d cut ties with the kids’ father when he began making bad choices. Sharniece and the children shared a house with another family, but then that family lost the lease. The stress of juggling work, no place to live, and child care woes took a toll: Sharniece suffered a meltdown and needed respite in a mental health facility. When she emerged, her job as a retail manager was gone.
24 years old. No job. No home. Two kids. Christmas in a rundown park. The worst, she remembers, was having to wrap presents that she had been unable to provide herself – and weren’t what her kids hoped for.
Jun 01, 2011
On September 22, 2011 Julie shared her story at the 10th Annual Women’s Empowerment Gala. Her moving words were a powerful inspiration to our community. Julie’s ultimate victory over an oppressive cycle of poverty is proof enough that we must all support the women who are turning homelessness into opportunity right here in Sacramento.
Dec 20, 2010
Afi came to Women’s Empowerment to escape domestic violence - she needed safety for herself and her daughter. She was punched, strangled, shoved and finally pushed to her limit. She was fortunate to find a safe place at a shelter for women and children.
This was not how she imagined her story. She was an art teacher for young adolescents with a dual degree in Fine Arts and Arts Education from Pratt Institute. She loved her job and students. But, when her partner started stalking her at school – the teachers became uncomfortable and she had to leave. She escaped with only $5 in her pocket a baby girl nursing in her arms and world of fear in her heart.
When living at Serna, a supported living program, she realized that she needed a total change. She was lost among strangers without a clue of what direction she needed to take. She heard about Women’s Empowerment through a neighbor who wanted help finding a job but she was anxious to go alone. She was a bit arrogant at first thinking she didn’t need to learn to write a resume –she had a college degree. But, a lesson she could learn was self discovery. Afi states, “ I didn’t know what my favorite color was, or how to decorate my house, or even how I liked my eggs. I always cooked the kind of eggs others told me to make. I was lost.”
At Women’s Empowerment she learned that it was okay to not know what kind of eggs she liked. It was okay not to know how she wanted to wear her hair. It was okay to be confused. She was allowed safety and support to discover her truth. She was allowed trial and error. Women’s Empowerment helped her discover…herself.
Nov 24, 2010
A graduate, who we will call “Christina” (to protect her identity) from our most recent session became homeless after escaping domestic violence. She was confronted with a difficult choice: either remain in an abusive relationship or escape and lose her home. She didn’t have family to turn to because her parents died when she was very young. She had no support system. She decided to leave, even though it meant losing everything. At Women’s Empowerment, she gained the confidence and tools to prepare her for a new life, a new career, and a new home. She is most thankful for the opportunity.
The job-readiness program at Women’s Empowerment works: since our inception, 709 women (and their 846 children) have risen from homelessness through the programs we offer. These results are worthy of celebration and are a direct result of the generous donations and support from people like you. Once a woman graduates from Women’s Empowerment is her journey over? The answer is no. With unemployment in California still climbing (12.4 percent), finding stability through work is almost as overwhelming as the barriers she faced when she first walked through our doors. The reality is our women face additional barriers to a life of self-sufficiency, and Women’s Empowerment is constantly evolving to continue to meet the ever changing
needs of the women and children we serve. Having qualified for subsidized housing, “Christina” is no longer living on the streets. Her two year-old son, “Victor”, now has a roof over his head, and they are safe from harm. “Christina” feels empowered. She is qualified and very intelligent. She spends several hours per week as a volunteer receptionist here at Women’s Empowerment to keep her skills up to date. Her search for steady employment is unwavering. However, “Christina” is living on the last month of her three-month subsidy, and due to the current business climate, she has not found a job. Up until a recent layoff, “Christina” always found work as an administrative assistant with ease. She will lose her home if she can’t find work and pay her rent. “Christina” and “Victor” will be homeless again.
May 04, 2010
What would you do for your mother?
Regina worked as an office manager in Atlanta. As a single mother of a teenage son, she made every sacrifice to ensure a good future for him. Her mother guided and inspired her. “She was always there for me, no matter what. She was my foundation,” says Regina. “And I want to be that kind of mother for my son.”
A year ago, Regina’s mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The news shook Regina at the core. She couldn’t imagine a day when she would pick up the phone to share news, but not have her mother to call. Regina wanted to be by her side, and her mother wanted her nearby, too.
“I needed to be there with her,” says Regina. She moved back home to Sacramento to care for her mother. With a good resume and work history, Regina was confident that she would find a job in Sacramento.
But with unemployment rising to 13.1% in the region, her search was in vain. And life was about to get much worse.
Dec 22, 2009
When she saw a homeless person on the streets, Christine used to wonder, “How do people end up like that?”
Then it happened to her.
She wasn’t alone. In fact, 56% of our newest clients are homeless for the first time due to the economy. Demand for Women’s Empowerment’s program continues to expand.
We have always been fortunate to have the support of caring community members like you to help women like Christine get back on their feet. In these difficult times, we depend on our community even more. If you have a little extra to spare, we could use your help. Any amount will help open doors for a newly homeless woman and her children.
Christine is a determined, kind, and hardworking mother of two teenage children. The blond-haired, blue-eyed woman looks like the mom next door. She “worked overtime with jobs on top of jobs” to make ends meet. Without a high school diploma, her options were limited, but that never stopped her. She worked hourly at a local health food store, running a small business on the side to supplement her income.