2021 Grants Challenge

Create New Paths for Economic Equality

The mission of Jenesse's Workforce Development Program is to give survivors of domestic violence the skills, tools and support they need to achieve self-sufficiency, transforming their lives through vocational training, entrepreneurship, social enterprise, and employment opportunities that recognize honor, and capitalize on their strengths, interests, and aptitudes. Jenesse helps survivors plan their future and amass the skills they will need for a lifetime of stability because poverty keeps women vulnerable to abuse and oppression.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

South LA

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

Most of Jenesse’s clients live below the federal poverty level and arrive at a Jenesse shelter with one or more children—who are the most affected victims of domestic violence (DV). Ninety percent of the women in Jenesse's DV programs are unemployed upon entrance and 60% have not completed high school. Yet these women must raise their children on their own after leaving their batterers. They must maintain stable housing in a city where the median home price is $650,000 — twice the national cost — and rents are more than 40% higher than the national average. Lack of employment and employable skills exacerbates the cycle of DV by limiting viable options for self-sufficiency. Furthermore, during the pandemic, individuals of color with lower educational attainment, are more likely to have been laid off or furloughed as businesses have shuttered or to have jobs that are considered higher risk in terms of the coronavirus.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

Jenesse helps survivors amass the skills they will need for a lifetime of stability and assists them with all aspects of the employment process from resume development and interview readiness to workplace skills. Workforce development (WD) case managers assess clients’ current work history and job skills, literacy, English and Math proficiency, and computer skills. Based on this assessment, the case manager and participant work together to design short and long-term objectives and prioritize service needs. The WD Program has four core areas of emphasis. These four areas are offered within an overarching framework of life and workforce skills, training, and support: 1) Jenesse provides Vocational Training to survivors of DV to prepare them to enter the workforce in a variety of positions. Jenesse created an online vocational assessment that allows clients to receive expedited employment services. 2) Jenesse has provided an Entrepreneurship program to support women who have an interest in starting their own business and pursuing self-employment. 3) Social Enterprise: Jenesse will underwrite the operating expenses for a retail boutique (online and – when possible – a physical location) where items created by survivors can be showcased and sold. 4) The Employment Readiness program facilitates career exploration and assists in employment placement in career sectors that are predicted to experience significant growth in the coming years such as education, health, and medicine.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 500

Indirect Impact: 1,200

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Empowering and educating DV survivors on how to live a life free of violence not only impacts those victims and their loved ones but can have profound and positive reverberations on how communities and economies operate. Research estimates the economic cost of intimate partner violence at nearly 3.6 trillion at a population level. Achieving economic equality for survivors not only leaves them less vulnerable to violence from an intimate partner, but the financial stability also improves their lives and that of their immediate family. This in turn provides a significant overall economic boost for the community. Economic equity – defined here, as the way that income and opportunities are distributed – and empowerment are also vital to a violence-free existence. It must be an integral component to the healing process and foremost in our support strategy. Also, this program supports minority- and women-owned businesses by offering counseling, start-up funds, and other support services.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

This program has four core areas of emphasis. The following are the success metrics we track for each area: • Vocational Training: - Number of clients participate in vocational training preparing them for specific careers. - Number of clients attend local community college to increase skills. - Number of clients obtain required certification and enter the workforce. • Entrepreneurship: - Number of clients participate in entrepreneurship courses. - Number of clients create business plan. - Number of clients launch their own business. • Social Enterprise: Since this area is a new component of this program, the focus is not making a profit but rather creating an opportunity for Jenesse to join the social enterprise world and a training opportunity for the clients. • Employment Readiness: - Number of sessions of courses and workshops provided. - Number of clients develop a resume and cover letter. - Number of clients secure employment.

Which of the CREATE metrics will you impact?​

Income inequality

Minority- and women-owned businesses

Unemployment rate

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

LA is the healthiest place to LIVE