Kim Secures Housing and Builds a Life Back with Her Children
Our housing programs across the state of Washington provide support and stability for individuals and families searching for a place to call home. Often times, landlords refuse housing to people with past criminal convictions or those in recovery from substance use disorders, preventing them from having the stability of a secure roof over their head – something many of us take for granted. Our transitional and permanent housing programs focus on serving those most in need of a secure place to live.
Amber Miller, our program supervisor in Tacoma, shared a story about Kim, a resident that came to live in our Tacoma housing program. Kim came to Pioneer while she was fresh in recovery from substance abuse and was receiving outpatient treatment at our Pioneer Counseling – Fawcett Clinic in Tacoma. During the deepest throws of her addiction, Kim had been living in a shed and suffering from a drug induced psychosis. She also had just given birth to a son.
During the time she resided in Pioneer’s Tacoma housing, Kim had an open Child Protective Services (CPS) case that she was working on to get custody of her son back. Her counselor at Pioneer Counseling - Fawcett Clinic and case manager in housing worked with her to navigate the steps she needed to accomplish to regain her custody.
Amber Miller stated, “It was very inspiring to watch Kim really work hard and use her time in transitional housing to fulfill the requirements needed to be able to reunify with her son. Daily, she focused on strengthening herself and her substance abuse recovery process, improving her damaged relationships with her older children and preparing for other housing options after her time in Pioneer’s transitional housing program.”
A Parent's Struggle
Many times a parent struggles with guilt, shame and low self-esteem when children have been neglected due to the parent being incarcerated or struggling with substance abuse. It is so important that when an individual is released from incarceration or a treatment program, he/she becomes engaged in support services and/or outpatient counseling in the community to stay on track and be open to learning more about parenting skills and taking full responsibility. Kim was open to learning and very driven to get custody of her children.
Taking Responsibility and Learning to Ask for Assistance
Miller added, “Kim took advantage of all the resources and services Pioneer had to offer in the community while she was living with us. During her time here Kim shared that she appreciated the recovery meetings held onsite, and the welcoming and supportive nature of the staff. She learned to ask for assistance and we were able to build a trust with her so she could share with us what she needed.”
The Housing staff was thrilled that they were able to help find Kim permanent housing after her stay at Pioneer’s transitional housing program. Her CPS requirements were also all met and she regained custody of her children. Her new home will be large enough to accommodate all of her children so they can live together as a family.
Kim is continuing to work on herself and plans to study and find employment in the recovery community when her youngest son starts school. Everyone at Pioneer wishes Kim the best in her new life and looks forward to hearing about her children and successes in the future.