2013 Year in Review


We hope you enjoy 2013’s Year in Review. These numbers are more than just statistics – they are a reflection of social and economic growth in the Sacramento community that would be impossible without the support of volunteers, donors, interns, the faith community, funders, and countless other community members like you.


One of our biggest changes this year was a change in place – we moved offices from our beloved midtown location to the Arden-Arcade area. The move meant leaving behind a building full of great memories, but it also lead us to a larger, more suitable office space and closer to the majority of our clients. We are now better able to host additional staff, interns, and even open houses! We held our first open house with the Sacramento Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, who very generously donated time and money to support our clients.


If you want make a difference now, visit the What You Can Do page.


To learn more about each program, visit the What We Do page.

Refugee Programs

Refugee Resettlement:
Refugees from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Eritrea, and Burma faced persecution and endured countless deprivations before being resettled in Sacramento in 2013. Opening Doors met them at the airport and assisted them in beginning anew. This year through Refugee Resettlement:

  • 144 refugees were assisted in obtaining access to safe, affordable housing, healthcare, education, and adult ESL and employment services
  • 14 additional refugees are scheduled to arrive and begin services before year-end

Refugee Health and Employment Attainment Program:

RHEAP is an extremely flexible program that works to meet the immediate priorities and concerns of Sacramento's Iraqi refugee population. Overall, RHEAP offers 4 levels of English instruction, health education, homework assistance, and one-on-one tutoring. Perhaps most importantly, it brings together families and helps build community and support networks. Through extensive volunteer support RHEAP is able to provide these invaluable services:

  • 121 Iraqi refugees, including adults and children, improved their English language skills, gained healthy living, financial management, and/or job attainment skills.
  • 62 Iraqi refugee adults learned how to better navigate the U.S. health care system, address men's and women's health issues, deal with mental health and well-being, and perform basic first aid.

Iraqi Refugee Health Needs Assessment:

This year, Opening Doors, the UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center, and the Mesopotamia Organization completed and published a joint investigation assessing the current health conditions and barriers to treatment faced by Sacramento-area Iraqi refugees. The collaborative, community-based study released and presented the results, which you can read here.


Survivors of Trafficking Program


Human trafficking is modern day slavery. In order to combat trafficking in our community, the SOT program has two important goals: to help individual survivors to restart their lives and to educate the community on issues related to trafficking. The two support each other, and work to eradicate trafficking from our community. This year, through the Survivors of Human Trafficking program:
  • 32 adults and 19 children received case management services
  • 3,899 community members received educational material and presentations on human trafficking, and increased their knowledge of human trafficking

Immigration Legal Services

Over the past two years, ILS has focused on assisting foreign-born survivors of human trafficking and domestic abuse.  We also help young immigrants through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and assist citizens and residents to bring immigrant family members.  Many of our survivors of violence are still waiting for their visas as the process is very slow; however, this year we received many approvals for citizenship, family visas, and DACA.
  • 16 clients received visas enabling them to legally stay, work, and assist law enforcement
  • 52 clients are waiting to hear the results of immigration applications

Prosperity Project


In 2013, we made 15 loans totally $171,385. This was our first year as a SBA intermediary lender, and we were also recertified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) for another four years. One microenterprise client, Artur Ryabstev, was featured in the media multiple times for his incredibly successful cabinet making business. Through the Microenterprise Program:
  • Entrepreneurs started 4 businesses and stabilized or improved 11 businesses
  • 150 entrepreneurs improved their business skills through business technical assistance


MoneyWork$ continues to help low- to moderate-income Sacramento area residents to improve their household finances, and we anticipate another strong year. The Spanish cohorts also focus on helping the Hispanic community to better understand the US financial system. This year through MoneyWork$:

  • 74 participants increased their savings
  • 72 improved their income/expense ratio
  • 46 decreased their debt
  • 112 demonstrably improved their financial management skills
  • 61 made increased or wiser use of financial institutions

Hispanic Prosperity Programs:
Sacramento’s Spanish speakers who were interested in starting a new business or improving an existing business had the opportunity to attend two Business Success Academy sessions. A Business Expo Committee was also established this year to help run the popular Business Expos, which help these business owners to develop effective marketing techniques and to showcase their businesses to the general public in a professional setting. Through the Business Success Academy and Business Expos:

  • 43 clients learned how to start a new business or to improve an existing business after attending Business Development classes
  • 12 clients were able to start a new business as a result of taking Business Development Classes
  • 16 business owners participated in 15 Business Expo events and showcased their business to approximately 4,000 attendees

Volunteers and Interns

Interns and volunteers help make our work possible. Without them, apartment set ups, community outreach, and programs like RHEAP and the Business Expos would be impossible. This year:
  • 42 interns dedicated 360 hours of volunteer time each, and improved their employability, fulfilled internship requirements for school, and gave back to the community
  • 76 volunteers dedicated their personal time to making a difference in the lives of individual clients while also interacting with people from other cultures.