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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Community Against Sexual Harm (Cash), A Program Of Community Pride Project

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: To inspire hope and provide assistance through peer support and harm reduction to women who have been sexually exploited.

Target demographics: Adult women who are victims of sexual exploitation, sex trafficking, and prostitution.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 200 women each year who have been victims of sexual exploitation.

Geographic areas served: Sacramento, California, and primarily Oak Park

Programs: CASH provides street outreach to women who have been prostituted. At the drop-in center, which is open three nights a week, food, clothing, and non-judgmental support are offered. Peer counseling, support groups, education, assistance with health, mental health, housing, and substance abuse issues, and information and referrals to other community agencies are provided. We also give presentations and training to community groups and other professionals. This next year, CASH will be doing outreach and education to drug and alcohol program staff and clients, offering a group for incarcerated women, and groups at substance abuse recovery programs. Our future plans include developing an alternative sentencing/diversion program.

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Former staff

Rating: 2

I worked at this non-profit for 6 years. The glass ceiling is in full effect at this place which prevented me from reaching advancement. I was empowered just enough to stay under the upper hand. I would not recommend employment here to anyone who aspires to reach true empowerment.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

CASH has been a valuable member of our Rescue & Restore Victims of Human Trafficking Coalition and I have had the honor to tour their facility and meet with staff. I am impressed with the staff, their passion and services offered. Julie Debbs has assisted our program and other Coalition members with her expertise, primarily in street outreach and in understanding what victims of trafficking may be experiencing. I consider CASH to be the best in the services they offer in Sacramento and know they have worked closely with the SAGE Project in San Francisco, a nationally recognized organization assisting victims of sex trafficking.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My experience with CASH started with meeting some of the staff at a three day Human Trafficking Training Seminar over two years ago. Through my work with women in my local church I was seeing more women coming off the streets and did not know how to help them obtain resources.
The Program Coordinator at CASH has been a valuable resource whenever I needed to find a referral in the community to help a woman. I have referred women to the CASH Center.
The women of my church have partnered with the CASH Center to provide clothing, hygiene items, blankets, shoes, etc. each month. We also donate a $25 gift card so that the women may have a meal once a month.
It's been rewarding to attend Open Houses and see how the staff work with such limited funding. They have done a wonderful job of creating a location for women to come off the street and feel welcomed, feel safe, and spoken to in a non-judgmental way so as to facilitate an atmosphere of trust encouraging women to set goals, and support the women when they do set goals. And provide the referrals the women need to begin a new life - away from prostitution.
The staff of CASH have spoken to the women at our church and helped us to understand the mission and vision for CASH. We were able to cry along with the speakers and it has helped our women to be compassionate, caring, and giving. When the Program Coordinator sends me an email with a need at the CASH Center, our women will come through!
We are a smaller congregation, but we have a big heart for the women who turn to the CASH Center.
I am so glad that the officers had the vision to start this CASH Center.

Holly B.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CASH introduces hope into the lives of women who have survived desperate circumstances. Since opening its doors, this agency has helped individuals transform their lives. While some of the CASH guests are former sex workers, looking for a safe place to address lingering issues stemming from prostitution; others are active prostitutes struggling with the daily trauma associated with sexual exploitation. CASH utilizes a harm-reduction philosophy and offers peer support, trauma-informed groups, individual counseling and case management in a safe environment, where women can gather strength from each other. One unique strength of this agency is the fact that CASH employs former street-level sex workers to engage the clients. CASH staff use their own personal experience as a counseling tool, sending the undeniable message that change is possible. This message is supported by numerous before-after photographs on the walls, documenting each staff member's personal journey through recovery. These walls speak volumes and, to me, the pictures seem to say : "Change does happen. You can trust us. We aren't asking you to do anything we haven't done ourselves."

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

C.A.S.H. attended an event we coordinated called Sacramento Homeless Connect in 2010. We were so excited to have them there, especially after seeing their organization win awards at the annual People Helping People Luncheon. Women who are active, former or transitioning sex workers in this community need a place to come and receive support, help and love. C.A.S.H. does that, and this is why they are one of the most innovative new nonprofits in the Sacramento area. C.A.S.H. understands that sex workers are human beings, and like all human beings deserve to live in a world free of discrimination and persecution. Thanks to C.A.S.H. sex workers now have a place to go that protects them from persecution, and provides them with the support network needed to break free from sex work. They will be attending Homeless Connect again this year, and we know that the homeless women in attendance truly appreciate their presence there!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a medical case manager at the Center for AIDS Research, Education and Services (CARES), and have been involved in getting CASH peers trained to do HIV testing at their drop-in site. I have also done health education presentations re: the risk of STDs, HIV and other health issues, in women who are sexually exploited. It has been a great opportunity to partner with an agency that targets such a high risk population that has historically been so underserved. CASH is a small agency with big goals and a lot of heart, that is doing wonderful work!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I was so impressed to discover the wonderful women who founded this agency, work as staff, and come in as clients. They put their heart into this work. Most women are first prostituted as a child, and this frequently leads to substance abuse, homelessness, health problems, and self esteem issues. To see the women who have been able to overcome these obstacles and transform their lives is very inspirational. Many of the staff members are former sex industry workers and addicts who are now serving as role models for the clients. And clients may initially come in for the food and clothing, but eventually begin to trust others, and make positive life changes. The clients are strong women who are amazing survivors. The dedication and vision of the Board and staff have enabled CASH to expand and become a needed resource, filling a gap in services. No other Sacramento agency's mission is to help adult women who have been prostituted.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

C.A.S.H. is a unique organization in the Sacramento area, that I'm so excited to volunteer services to. The staff are compassionate,professional, non-judgemental, and they absolutely serve a great cause in the community. I was so inspired when I attended the open house and seen the staff were women who had made transformations in their own lives. This to me is what change is all about. How can you tell someone where to go, if you haven't been in there shoes. I appreciate all the services they provide to the women who come to them. I know with support they will help decrease the crime in our community by changing one life at a time Thank you to all the founders, board members and staff at CASH for the difference your making in the community. You're changing lives daily and keep up the great work. Support CASH!

Kathleen J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've always heard about the CASH program, but never thought about what they actually did. I attended CASH's open house this past January and I said oh my this is a nice place!!!!! I also volunteered with CASH and was fortunate enough to go to a two day orientation, and I learned so much about things I thought I already knew. I truly appreciate all of the staff and the work they do. I think this program is one of the best around.
They help women in a big way, and feel fortunate to be able to participate in their great effort.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I received services as a client of CASH in the year 2008 to 2009. As a client I found the staff to be very support and non-judgmental. Being around the staff and other clients who have been involved in sex-work motivated me to desire to do something different with my life. The Program Coordinator of this program was a pillar of support and a road map to my success today. The CASH staff empowered me to go to college and further my education to follow my dreams. I now have my own car, my own apartment, employment and have reunited with my family members. If it was not for the peer-support of CASH Staff and the program I would not be the successful and empowered woman I am today.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have observed this organization help women involved in commercial sexual exploitation since May of 2008. The impact Community Against Sexual Harm has had on the community benefits victims, family members of victims, community education, prevention, social change, and the business community by implementing a harm-reduction approach assisting women involved in the sex-industry realize that they have a voice and that they matter. I have observed the staff at this organization assist and empower victims of sexual exploitation by planting the seeds to create a desire for victims to begin positive lifestyle choices. Through direct street outreach, a non-judgmental environment, support/education groups, peer-counseling and several other services, many clients have become empowered and changed their lives by realizing they have choices and can achieve their goals. I recommend this program to anyone who may personally be involved, has ever been involved, or who may have clients who are involved in sex-work. I have personally become empowered by observing the success stories of this great organization and the many lives this program has impacted.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

This is an organization that was started by a few police women and two professors at the local university who realized that arresting women who were being prostituted was not the answer. They asked the women what they needed and began working with them to help get them get off the streets where they were being sexually exploited. They used the program SAGE in S.F. as an example and began inviting women to an outreach center where they could stop in and get clothes and talk to others who had formely been in the same situation. Women began coming in because there was no judgment of anything they were doing. The women in the center were also former prostitutes and they only listen and let them know their own stories. C.A.S.H now helps women to find the resources they need to get them off the streets and help them change their life. They also help them find housing. C.A.S.H. has a goal to begin providing education in the jails to women who have been incarcerated. One of success stories is a woman who went back to school, got a car and is earning her Masters in counseling so she can continue to help other women. Several of the women are now working in the center and also have gone back to school so they can get a job.
Before I began volunteering for C.A.S.H. I was judgemental about the prostitutes I saw in the streets and thought they had control over the life they led. I now know differently. Most of these women are being sexually explointed and controlled by circumstances that make it very difficult for them to get out. With an organization like C.A.S.H. they have a chance to change that.