Securing Affordable Housing to Help Women Rebuild their Lives
Kim Carter knows that families are paying the ultimate price for California’s affordable housing crisis. Without a stable home, a mother can lose her children to child protective services or be forced to remain in a violent situation.
In San Bernardino County, an individual earning minimum wage must work 78 hours a week to afford a one-bedroom apartment. The waiting list for rental assistance can take four years. Housing is further out of reach for the formerly incarcerated, as property owners avoid renting to them, making it more difficult to rebuild their lives and families.
Carter understands these costs intimately. Abused as a child and addicted to crack cocaine by age 17, she cycled in and out of prison and homelessness, unable to retain custody of her daughter. After her incarceration, Carter faced stigmas and discrimination from potential landlords and employers. Luckily, six months of treatment with housing in San Bernardino County gave her the chance to rebuild her life.
Homeless women and children are not to be thrown away. There’s nothing that says you can’t have your children and rebuild your life at the same time.
Under Carter’s leadership, Time for Change Foundation provides a full continuum of housing for its clients, from emergency shelter to supportive and affordable housing. It also offers a range of evidence-based services matched by few organizations: family reunification, life skills, and drug rehabilitation. Since its founding in 2002, the organization has assisted more than 1,020 women to reach self-sufficiency, with 98 percent of program participants in permanent housing. More than 240 children have reunited with their mothers.
In 2012, Carter received the funds needed to build a high-quality affordable housing development, the Phoenix Square. Local leaders call it a stabilizing and positive force in the neighborhood. Carter also works to advocate for and empower others to change the systems that are locking women out of the resources they need. Through the organization’s Center for Advocacy and Leadership Training, she teaches providers how to implement programs and services, conduct evaluations, and track results.
Building on the organization’s successes in San Bernardino, Carter is in the process of expanding her model to serve the needs of women and their families in Alameda and San Francisco Counties.
“Time for Change Foundation is an organization that wraps its arms around homeless women and children. We take them through a journey to self-sufficiency,” says Carter. “We don’t recycle homelessness, we end it.”
Video by Talking Eyes Media
Time for Change Foundation
Primary Regions Served
In 2018, Time for Change Foundation expanded to the Bay Area, opening a housing development in Hayward. As of 2020, Time for Change Foundation has assisted more than 1,700 women and reunited 299 children with their mothers.
The written profile and video reflect the work of the leader(s) the year they received a Leadership Award. Please contact the leader(s) for current information.