Help survivors start businesses
Volunteer Opportunities: Yes
Opening Doors began in 1993 as a small refugee resettlement agency called the Sacramento Refugee Ministry, which was sponsored by the Interfaith Service Bureau. We assisted refugees that were arriving in the Sacramento area from the former Soviet Union, Southeast Asia and elsewhere to begin new lives here. When many of these refugees let us know that they needed help with starting businesses in order to become self-sufficient, we formed our Microenterprise Assistance program. This small business program grew to serve Hispanic immigrants and US citizens. In 2003, after a great deal of growth, we incorporated as our own 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the name of Opening Doors. In 2004 Opening Doors became a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). We grew our business microloan program and began offering tools and training for those attempting to assert more control over their personal finances. Responding to the horrific problem of human trafficking and the dire needs of those who have survived it, Opening Doors became a founding member of Sacramento’s Rescue and Restore Coalition in 2007, and established its Survivors of Human Trafficking program. Over the years Opening Doors has developed an extraordinary internship and volunteer program that is critical to our success. Young people from many cultural backgrounds gain important skills and life experiences as they are given the opportunity to take on high levels of responsibility and use their talents to the fullest. We celebrate the diversity of our community and believe that we are enriched by its varied cultural wisdoms. We believe in the fundamental value of every community member and we work to enable each to fulfill his or her potential and thus contribute to their fullest to our society.
Our mission is to empower refugees, immigrants, human trafficking survivors, and underserved Sacramento area residents to achieve self-sufficiency by accessing opportunities to mainstream economic and social systems. We do this by providing safe places, skills development, business loans, and connections to community resources, assisting our clients to build financial and personal assets while maintaining their cultural identity and individual goals.