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Kimberly is saving money for stable housing with the Mission staff’s guidance.

Kimberly is saving money for stable housing with the Mission staff’s guidance.

Frequently moving from one rental to another and jumping from state to state, Kimberly recalls her childhood being “fine, but unstable.” In her late teens, Kimberly’s mom left the family, leaving her and her two siblings to be cared for by her stepfather. “He was a dad to us. He took care of us.”

In Kimberly’s early 20’s she started “partying and going to raves. I first used (drugs) just to stay up all night to dance and party,” she said. Unfortunately, it developed into an addiction.

Kimberly’s cocaine use became such a problem that her stepfather made her move out. Drug-fueled arguments made couch surfing at friends’ houses short lived. She was homeless for two years, and even tried a shelter, but after experiencing racism there, she left.

Kimberly knew that she needed to conquer her cocaine addiction; she entered a rehab program and has now been clean for nine months. After graduation from the center, she searched for local shelters and found the Mission. The more she learned about the women’s emergency shelter, the more Kimberly felt at peace. “I was excited because it was an all-girls home, stable and very homey.”

The first days were lonesome, she said, but that soon lifted as the other ladies made her feel at home. Still fresh in her sobriety, Kimberly knew the importance of staying accountable. “I felt like this was something I could do,” she said. “It helped knowing there (were others) to help me and check up on my addiction, and make sure I’m good with my recovery.”

Kimberly is “cherishing every moment” at the women’s shelter. The staff goes beyond helping to secure housing, and address all of her needs. “They make sure I shower daily and take care of myself and they help me to get to NA meetings.”

The faith component of the shelter encourages Kimberly to seek God as she improves her life. “Knowing that someone wants to help and that I’m not alone is one of the things I like here,” she said. “Also with the Christian (foundation) I am getting, it is good to call on Him.”

The Mission staff alerted Kimberly to some local job fairs, and she has since found a job. “I’m now a caregiver for those with disabilities,” she said. “It is really rewarding and I like it.” Kimberly continues to save for housing and plans on getting a second job in geriatrics caregiving.

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