My Sister’s House

My Sister’s House has been in Sacramento for 14 years, but many of us still don’t know it exists, as it is tucked away on its own just off Broadway and Riverside Boulevard in the Land Park area. I feel it deserves the recognition as well as those who run it work very hard at providing a safe haven for many women.

My Sister’s House offers a continuum of services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. As well as education and outreach to help prevent violence against women and children.   They also offer a 24/7 multilingual crisis line to help provide safety planning, information, and referrals, as well as a 6-bed shelter and 6-bed transitional housing program.   
Then there is also their Women to Work Program, which helps victims become survivors through peer support, counseling, legal assistance, job training, and other assistance.

They help approximately 60-75 women and children a year with emergency or transitional housing assistance a year; 300-plus women with face-to-face counseling and support; 500 women and men with legal assistance; approximately 2,000 crisis or help calls; and 10,000 individuals with outreach and education and training presentations on domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. 

Nilda Valmores is another amazing woman in the community trying to make an impact as the Executive Director here. Which means she is the “Chief Program and budget worrier, meeting planner, and part-time janitor.” She says. 
When asked how she became interested in this industry, here’s what she said: 
“I am so glad to have a job which allows me to practice my personal and political beliefs that to change the world we need to make sure all children have a safe environment in which they can thrive.  My job choices from out of college has been a reflection of that.

“Before coming to My Sister’s House, I have worked as a teacher, worked on child abuse and foster care legislation, and housing and community 
development programs.  At my last job prior to My Sister’s House, one of My Sister’s House board members asked me to consider joining the board.  As we talked about the organization and its needs, I told her I would also consider joining the staff.  It has been 10 years of hard work, great memories and great people.

One of the things I love about My Sister’s House is that the issue of domestic violence is connected to many of the issues I care about — children, women, poverty, housing, education, and more.

I am very fortunate.  I have been married almost 30 years to a wonderful, kind man so I am not a survivor of domestic abuse.  I also grew up with a great dad.  I do remember however, my grandmother living with us and telling me that being a good Filipino wife meant doing whatever your husband told you and putting up with all his actions, i.e. if he hit you, if he yelled at you, if he cheated on you — as a wife you were not to complain or fight back or tell others.  My grandmother and my mother would tell me that my job was to “serve my husband.”  Unfortunately, some Asian/Pacific Islander men and Asian/Pacific Islander women (and non-Asian/Pacific Islander men and women) still hold those thoughts today.

From working with survivors, I have learned so much.  I have learned about graciousness, gratitude, generosity, and fortitude.  I am amazed at the strength that they have to leave and the courage to carry on, often alone.

I think that the domestic violence survivors that we serve are so grateful that they have a new family that will provide them emotional and other support to assist them in living a healthy and safe life with their children.
They are happy to be part of My Sister’s House family. 

Nilda feels it is extremely important to have a place like this in our community.   Sacramento is one of the cities in California with the largest Asian/Pacific Islander population.  It is important not to just have a diverse community but to offer culturally appropriate and responsive services.  I am also so grateful for the support received from non-Asian/Pacific Islanders who recognize these need. Even though My Sister’s House does have a target audience, from the beginning of our history we have ne ver turned anyone away because of their ethnicity. 

Nilda and the staff have always been committed to ensuring quality services. They will be moving their administration offices as one of their biggest projects of 2015, as well as expanding their counseling services. It’s always wonderful to hear the dedication to causes such as this one. Victims need to feel safe and supported, as do all of us in the many facets of life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *