Empower Yolo


Empower Yolo's mission is to promote safe, healthy, and resilient communities through community outreach and educational programs about available resources to promote health, stability, and self-sufficiency for individuals and families.

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Address: 175 Walnut Street
Woodland, CA 95695
County or Parish: Yolo County
Primary NTEE: Human Services 
Sub NTEE: Family Violence Shelters and Services 
Executive Director: Lynnette Irlmeier
Contact Email: info@empoweryolo.org
Primary Phone: 530-661-6336
Fax: 530-661-3021
Website: http://www.empoweryolo.org
Founded in 1977 as the Yolo County Sexual Assault Center, Empower Yolo was started by five women from Davis, CA who identified a need and began providing crisis intervention services out of an apartment. Soon thereafter, domestic violence services were added and the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Center became Yolo County's sole provider of specialized services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. In 1980, the Harper House, the county's first shelter for battered women and children, was opened. In November of 1999, Empower Yolo's current confidential shelter facility - the 35-bed Wallace and Vanucci shelter, opened to residents in place of Harper House. In February 2014, in an effort to more effectively encompass our vast programs and services, as well as highlight the connection between client, organization and community, the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Center became Empower Yolo, Providing Hope. Ending Violence.

On January 1, 2016 Empower Yolo and Yolo Center for Families merged to become one agency under the name Empower Yolo. Yolo Center for Families is a program of Empower Yolo. The merger allows Empower Yolo to better serve clients in Yolo County offering more comprehensive services. Empower Yolo free and confidential services include: 24/7 Crisis Hotline, Residential Services (including emergency confidential shelter and rapid rehousing), Legal Advocacy (including restraining order clinics), Counseling (including individual, family, child, empowerment program, and support groups), Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Response Teams, Prevention, Education and Outreach (including presentations, community fairs/tabling, professional trainings throughout Yolo County, and Teen Education presentations and groups in local high schools), Family Resource Centers (in Davis, Woodland and Knights Landing), Youth Services (including: Help Me Grow-early screening, Play School Experience, Kinder Camp, Child Abuse Treatment Program, Response to Human Trafficking of commercially sexually exploited children (CSEC), children's health insurance enrollment, and After School Safety and Enrichment for Teens (ASSETs) after school program), Health Education (including health insurance enrollment program, peer health educators, and Knights Landing Medical Clinic), Homeless Prevention & Rapid Re-housing Program, Economic Self Sufficiency (including financial literacy classes, and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program).
$5,000 for client assistance funds for clients moving out of shelter who need help with deposits.
$15,000 for "Promotoras for Active Living" (PAL) project, which trains lay community members to deliver health education, family support to family, friends and other community members and to connect them to available health and social services in Yolo County.
$15,000 for our domestic violence and sexual assault program for incarcerated women.
$10,000 in teen prevention and education funding.
$2,200 for monthly shelter operating expense.
Our top needs:
  1. Funding: Unrestricted - $5,000 for client assistance funds for clients moving out of shelter who need help with deposits.
  2. Funding: Unrestricted - $10,000 for "Promotoras for Active Living" (PAL) project, which trains lay community members to deliver health education, family support to family, friends and other community members and to connect them to available health and social services in Yolo County.
  3. Funding: Unrestricted - $15,000 for our domestic violence and sexual assault program for incarcerated women.
  4. Funding: Unrestricted - $10,000 in teen prevention and education funding.
  5. Funding: Unrestricted - $25,000-50,000 for our kitchen remodel which funds the walls, the floors, the ceilings the appliances and storage lockers, for one of the five work spaces within the shelter's multi-family, dream kitchen. The current safe house, the Wallace and Vannucci Shelter, opened to residents in November of 1999 and since that time over twenty-five hundred women and children have passed through its doors. However, the current kitchen at the shelter has not been updated since it was built and does not provide adequate space or storage for the many families using it. The space is cramped, cabinets are worn out and appliances are old and in constant need of repair. Last year, 238 women, men and children stayed in our shelter for a total of 10,932 bed nights (over 30,000 meals). The remodeled kitchen facility will dramatically improve our ability to support individuals and families who come to us at the most difficult times of their lives.
'As an advocate and activist in the community, what attracted me most to Empower Yolo was the "above and beyond" compassionate approach that Empower Yolo embodies said its Executive Director, Lynnette Irlmeier. Empower Yolo aims to "screen clients in" with minimal paperwork and screenings, rather than create additional barriers to seeking shelter and support. Each day, Empower Yolo staff, board, and volunteers work tirelessly to ensure that victims of violence receive the support they need to rebuild their lives free from violence, as well as to prevent violence for future generations. Yolo Center for Families merged with Empower Yolo in 2015, and Empower Yolo added collaborative services with Yolo County in 2016. Now the agency is able to offer clients more comprehensive services to help members of our community move forward and improve their lives. 'The new agency is not about just about being bigger, it's about being better,' Irlmeier said. 'It's about better serving our clients with comprehensive services in one location.'

'As Empower Yolo settles in as a new agency we are excited about this positive change moving forward in 2017. The culture of the agency is that 'Empower Yolo is a place to be welcomed and safe. It's about being safe and a part of the community,' said former Board President of Yolo Center for Families, Karen Naliboff. Our new mission speaks to what we were and what we will be. 'Sexual assault and domestic violence is something that happened to you, but it's not who you are; it doesn't define you,' Irlmeier said. Empower Yolo is about helping people improve their lives and not getting stuck in the past; it's about moving forward and developing a place in the community. The new agency, and all that it has to offer, can help us achieve our mission of promoting 'safe, healthy and resilient communities.''