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The Empowerment Group – Peace & Justice Wednesday August 1 at 9 a.m.

Written by on Saturday, July 28, 2018

Next Wednesday 8/1/18 we’ll talk to  Connie Kauffman of Empowerment Group. Below is a little about her group. We’ll hear her stories on Wednesday.

Empowerment Group (Suncoast Youth Foundation) is a non-profit 501(c)3 that reaches out to working young adults, age 18 to 35, who are struggling financially but lack resources, causing susceptibility to self-harm due to hopelessness.

Made up of a diverse group of individuals concerned about increasingly frequent incidents of self-harm among young adults such as drug use, anger management problems, self-cutting, and alcoholism, Empowerment Group serves the greater Sarasota/Manatee area. Our multi-faceted approach includes careful vetting, funding counseling sessions for budget, personal, and/or professional therapy, and offering one on one mentoring, as well as financial assistance and on-going assessment.

Restoring hope is not a quick fix. Unexpected expenses, student debt, spiraling rent, low wages, poor decisions, heartbreak, and plain old bad luck can wreak havoc in a life unprepared for the realities of today’s economic conditions. A large percentage of young people have nowhere to go for emergency funds that won’t end up costing more than they can afford. As they sink deeper into a whirlpool of debt, they become more susceptible to poor decision-making and less able to be strong community members.

So, how do we help? Empowerment determines legitimacy of each request, vetting carefully, explores alternative solutions and looks for transparency and honesty. Self-help is encouraged and required, as well as a willingness to “pay back” by volunteering their time to others. Empowerment takes a “help us to help you” approach and potential recipients who do not follow through on their end are dropped from the program.

Our multi-faceted approach is uniquely individualized to that person’s specific needs plus some things we think they need, such as a required budget course.

All of these approaches help, of course, but Empowerment Group goes one step further with on-going assessment. Follow-up is our way of sending the message that no one in the greater Sarasota/Manatee vicinity is in it alone. When they look in the mirror and think no one cares, Empowerment reflects hope back at them.

Transportation, housing, and counseling are the most common requests. We partner with LifeHouse Counseling for those who need professional therapy and Suncoast Community Church with car giveaways, and accept referrals from several area non-profits, as well.

Help Us to Help Others

Empowerment Group’s future is bright! With a solid base of reliable donors, numerous media promotion exposure through video and magazine publications, awards, and word-of-mouth, donations continue to grow, enabling us to begin the outreach expansion to other underserved demographic groups, such as the LGBTQIA community and Seniors 65+.

Donations help Empowerment to guide our clients to the stability they need to become strong community members. We recently participated in the Community Foundation of Sarasota County Giving Challenge. The final tally has not yet been released, but we anticipate around $7000 in donations and matching funds AND we won two cash prizes, Best Use of Social Media and Best Video, which earned us nearly $5000 additional dollars.

Caring community members who want to sign up to donate/volunteer, and young people in need who wish to apply should go to www.empowermentsrq.com and follow the prompts. You may also reach us by e-mail at empowermentfundsrq@gmail.com or leave a message with our answering service: 941-951-4040. We are on Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) as empowermentsrq. Mailing Address: 5342 Clark Road, PMB 188, Sarasota, FL 34233