Kimberly’s life had never been easy. After losing her mother as a teenager, she struggled to raise her younger siblings, keeping food on the table through odd jobs and getting them through school and onto happy, healthy lives of their own. But even as the lives of her siblings blossomed, Kimberly’s was falling further behind. Growing older and now with children of her own, Kimberly thought her life was finally stabilizing. She couldn’t have imagined how quickly that would change.
“[My partner] and I started fighting more and more, and one night, he put his hands on me. I knew if he did it once, he’d keep doing it,” she says of the night she left home. “It was terrifying. I took my kids and we left that night.”
With nowhere to turn, she and her two children ran to a shelter, and what she’d hoped would be an overnight arrangement lasted for a year as she waited for permanent housing to become available for her family. While there though, she found a team of people that would become one of her most invaluable resources.
“There were several women that ran a support group that met [in the shelter],” Kimberly said. “Two of them were from Heartland Alliance, and they were incredible.”
Through Heartland Alliance, Kimberly and her children immediately found housing, and she’s now getting back into school and focusing on parenting skills, working to become a social worker.