June 2013

Vol. 5 Issue 3  

Latest news and stories 
In This Issue
An Iranian's Refugee Story
Find a Way Out of Debt with MoneyWork$
Meet the Staff: SOT and ILS Programs
Quick Links

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
Join Our Mailing List

Current Events


Thanks to Our New Partners

We are thrilled to have Bank of America and California Bank and Trust join those who are investing in our Prosperity Project. Their help will enable more low-income area residents to reduce debt, increase savings, improve credit scores, gain self-sufficiency through microenterprise, and become part of the economic mainstream.

Thanks, Deborah Lowe Muramoto for Years of Service

We express our profound gratitude to our longtime board member, Deborah Muramoto, upon her resignation. Director of Fund Development and Marketing at California Capital Financial Development Corporation, Deborah, along with California Capital's President, Clarence Williams, helped us begin our microenterprise assistance program nearly eighteen years ago. Later, as a board member, Deborah assisted us as we expanded our microloan program. Many thanks to you, Debbie.


Opening Doors Is Moving

As of July 9th, Opening Doors will relocate its office to 1111 Howe Avenue, Suite 125, Sacramento, CA 95825, bidding farewell to the Midtown location that we have seriously outgrown. Our office will be closed on Friday, July 5th and Monday, July 8th as staff handles the move. Our phone number will remain the same.


Introducing New Staff Members

Opening Doors is proud to announce three new staff members:    

Robert Tobin - Deputy Chief Executive Officer;

Travis Cole - Financial Capabilities Program Manager;    

Natalia Levin - Administrative Assistant.

We are excited to have them on board and look forward to introducing them to you as part of our meet the staff features in our future newsletters.



CAMPAIGN UPDATE: Sacramento Against Sex Slavery in Massage Parlors Report Complete

We have completed our report on sex trafficking in massage parlors. We are still collecting signatures to pressure Sacramento officials to conduct routine inspections of massage parlors.  


Business Classes in Spanish Offered in August

Opening Doors will be offering business classes for Spanish-speakers starting August 1st. The classes will focus on how to create a business plan. They will be held every Thursday during the month of August from 5:30-7:30 in West Sacramento. To register, please contact Roxana or Johana at 916.492.2008.

Estas clases seran en espa´┐Żol.




           The greatest joy of working at Opening Doors is the opportunity we have to participate in the positive changes that some very interesting members of our community are making in their lives. This in turn positively impacts those of us who are working or volunteering here. In this issue we bring stories of two remarkable people who are taking control of the changes in their lives. And we bring you stories of three of the staff members who make our agency's good work possible.


      Our work is possible because of you, our donors, sponsors, and volunteers.  Donate now.  

RHEAPkidsStarting a New Life of Political Freedom: An Iranian's Refugee Story

Javad is a person hungry to explore the many creative avenues that spark his thirst for life, traveling over 6,600 miles to do so.


A deeply spiritual person, Javad is an artist, a filmmaker, a carpenter and welder who builds muscle cars and plays the violin. He is also an Iranian political refugee whom Opening Doors, Inc. welcomed to our Sacramento community just eight weeks ago.    


sotoutreachFinding a Way Out of Debt: MoneyWork$ participant tells her story      


Laurica fell into debt trying to help her father when his house was foreclosed on during the fiscal collapse. His death shortly thereafter created a combination of circumstances that convinced Laurica she would never be able to repay her debts in her lifetime. But seeing an ad for our MoneyWork$ Program on Channel 13 made her think she may have a chance.

meetthestaffppMeet the Staff: Survivor of Human Trafficking and Immigration Legal Services Programs


ERIKA GONZALEZ: Immigration Legal Services (ILS) Program Manager  


Erika was the first in her family to attend college, graduating from UC Berkeley and studying abroad in Guatemala while completing her law degree from McGeorge Law School. Before working at Opening Doors, she worked at Public Defenders offices in Sacramento and El Dorado counties.  



ELISABET MEDINA: Survivors of Human Trafficking (SOT) Program Manager 


Elisabet is a Sacramento native who graduated from Azusa Pacific University and the University of Michigan, where she received her Master's in Social Work.    


Before coming to Opening Doors, Elisabet worked in a variety  of social service and social justice roles. She has served as a facilitator of diversity trainings and workshops at the University of Michigan and assisted immigrant victims of domestic violence as a Case Management Intern at the House of Ruth Los Angeles.  

Read More 


CAROLINA ESTRADA: Survivors of Trafficking Program Case Manager


A graduate from UC Davis in Political Science and History, Carolina has worked for a variety of organizations helping underserved members of society, including CASA as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for foster youth for two years, and for Volunteers of America. She also served in the Peace Corps, working on Community Economic Development in Paraguay.


Read More 

Thank you for following our work. Our staff, interns and volunteers hope you have a great rest of the week. 



Debra DeBondt 

Executive Director
Opening Doors, Inc.