YWCA Yakima is opening a new store that will offer goods -- and lots of services.

Persimmon, a resale boutique and gift shop, will open this fall in the Westpark Shopping Center at 40th and Summitview avenues. The shop will sell gently used women's and children's clothing, home decor, housewares, and assorted fashion and gift items. But perhaps more importantly, it'll offer domestic violence survivors a chance at learning new employment skills.

Gaining financial independence is a major hurdle for many domestic-violence survivors, the YWCA notes in a news release issued this morning (Aug. 25). Abusers often try to control their victims by interfering at their work places or forbidding them to work at all.

The result is that victims may hesitate to leave a dangerous home or flee with no resources and few or no job skills.

That's where Persimmon comes in. The shop will try to bridge that need by hiring YWCA Yakima clients and providing them a job coach to teach them work skills, financial skills and healthy life skills to prepare them for professional careers and, ultimately, independent lives.

The coach, the YWCA says, is "a seasoned domestic violence advocate who understands the many barriers survivors must overcome on their journey to self-sufficiency. This understanding will provide security to the trainees who need to work but are often still navigating court hearings, counseling appointments for themselves and/or their children, along with many other issues resulting from the abuse they have experienced."

Workers can earn a wage "beyond the minimum," the YWCA's release adds.

Any revenue Persimmon generates will go to YWCA Yakima's domestic abuse programs.

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