Empower Yolo’s recent Big Day of Giving campaign’s theme – Empower Yolo supports your well-being – your neighborhood, community, and county – exemplifies the agency’s commitment to serving survivors and families in need; and shows how extensive Empower Yolo’s programs are to the community. During the campaign, Empower Yolo highlighted various client stories, which showed the diversity of the population served and the breadth of services provided for clients.
“Every client that comes to Empower Yolo is different. Clients come from different countries with different backgrounds,” says Josie Enriquez, Program Manager. Clients also have different racial, ethnic, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds, gender identities, and family compositions.
Empower Yolo supports survivors including victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and other crime victims, the unhoused, and families in need. Services include a 24-hour crisis line, safe shelter, legal advocacy, counseling, and support groups, CARE Team, housing services, food distribution, clothing closet, resource centers throughout Yolo County, benefits enrollment, immigration services, After School Safety and Enrichment for Teens, youth services, financial empowerment services, taxes, community outreach, prevention education, Empower Yoga, and so much more.
We are proud of the work we are accomplishing serving thousands of clients across our programs. In 2022, 272 survivors of abuse, of which 130 were children received shelter or transitional housing for 17,583 bed nights.
“At the resource centers advocates establish relationships with clients that last throughout the years. Clients keep coming back for services, but at the same time we strengthen them in different ways such as encouraging counseling and mental health services. We also provide resources they need for their families including food distribution, healthcare for the children, referrals to education resources, employment and housing services, benefits enrollment, youth services, and so much more,” says Enriquez.
Empower Yolo and the clients we serve are so grateful for your financial support during our Big Day of Giving campaign that we are honored to share some of the stories of the survivors and families in need you are helping.
“My kids were living in fear. I left my abuser and everything behind.
Empower Yolo helped me find a place to live, school supplies for my kids starting over at new schools, resources for food, rent, and furniture, help with a restraining order, and custody of my kids.”
I feel like I’ve gotten a second chance and I can start my life over. My kids are so happy to be moving into a new place with just the three of us and it won’t be the same as it was before. Coming to Empower Yolo has changed my life.”
“My two girls witnessed enough abuse their mother caused me that they started waking up to nightmares and wetting their beds.
The love I have for my kids was the reason I gained enough strength to leave my abuser and seek help. Coming to Empower Yolo has helped me turn my life around. They educated me on all the types of abuse there is. I learned that I wasn’t just being abused physically but also mentally and financially. I also learned it’s okay for men to seek help.
Empower Yolo provided for my kids and me in a time of need. Legal advocates helped me get a restraining order and with the custody process for my kids. Shelter staff helped enroll my kids into new schools and provided school supplies and clothing for them. I ended up finding a job, getting permanent housing, and having my ID card. Later, housing advocates helped me find permanent housing, helped with the deposit, and furniture for my girls. I felt like I was given a chance to start over and I am grateful that programs like this exist.”
Sara was carrying heels and walking barefoot with blistered feet on a street known for prostitution. She was 13 years old.
While law enforcement took down her trafficker, Sara received support from a human trafficking advocate, trauma counseling, and a chance to finish high school.
Empower Yolo provided Sara with safe housing, counseling, and financial empowerment services, and helped her set long-term goals for herself. As Sara received care and grew older, she got a job, permanent housing, move-in expenses, and furniture to start a new chapter in her life.
“It’s important to establish relationships with clients and that you don’t judge them for their decisions;” respect their decisions whether you agree with them or not so they know they can come back. They often come back and get one step better and one step closer to being free from abuse,” says Enriquez. “Once they get back on their feet, many clients start giving back to the community by donating, volunteering, or working for Empower Yolo. Also, their children grow up with Empower Yolo and then they volunteer and give back as well,” said Enriquez.
Thank you to the community for its continuing support for survivors and families in need. Your donations mean a safe home, restraining orders, an escape from human trafficking, school supplies for kids, furnishings for new homes, and a second chance for the most vulnerable in Yolo County.
To donate and learn more, visit empoweryolo.org. *Note that all names have been changed for confidentiality.