Member Agency Story
From the Bottom to the Top: A Woman Turns Her Life Around with the Help of Catholic Charities
Kim came to our Homeless Services Center “a broken woman,” as she called herself. Born in Ukiah, California, Kim was a bright young woman who graduated college with a business degree. She worked for a Fortune 500 company in San Francisco, then moved back to Ukiah for her “dream job” as the Sports Editor for a daily newspaper.
But soon things began to slide. She got pregnant and her entire world compressed into caring for her son, Ozzie. He was everything to her. When he was in grade school, Kim lost her job. Then her dad, who was really close to Ozzie, got sick and died – sending both Kim and Ozzie into a further tailspin. They had no support system, no place to turn. They lost their apartment and were sleeping in their truck on the streets. Ozzie had problems in school, and he was eventually sent away to a home for troubled boys.
Kim was at the bottom, and she knew she had to make a change. She had heard about Catholic Charities and found her way to the door of our Sam Jones Hall adult shelter. We welcomed her with open arms, gave her food and a warm bed and the promise that she would get her son back.
She took part in every program we offered: smoking cessation, nutrition classes, Coach 2 Career employment readiness, and the Rent Right class to improve her credit. She volunteered to help others and read nearly every book in our library.
Today, Ozzie is back with his mom and doing great. Kim got not one, but two job offers. They just moved into transitional housing, and Kim said in an email, “Every day I have to pinch myself to make sure this is all real. Today I was busy mostly grocery shopping, cleaning the house and cooking too. All things I really am so grateful I get to do now.”