Kim* is 33 years old. She has been on her own since the age of 12 and is a survivor of childhood abuse. Kim is now in the process of writing another chapter of her story, one that includes independence, growth and success.
In having to support herself Kim learned how to “dance”; she danced at parties and in clubs. She was living from day to day, maintaining, trying to survive, paying bills and always wishing for something better. Eventually she found a clerical job to assist in making ends meet.
Last year Kim lost her job, lost her apartment and could not afford school. She currently has an associate’s degree and only needs 33 additional credits to obtain her bachelor’s degree. She went back to dancing for a short period and was arrested during a police sting. She was mandated to complete two social service sessions with a case manager as part of our alternative to prostitution program. Her court mandate is now complete and we are working on her goals, one at a time.
Kim has been trying to find a job but has not come up with any leads. Her case manager passed along a few job referrals and she quickly connected with one of the programs. Kim attended the HOPE Program's initial testing session and she will begin a 4-month vocational training on January 21st. Additionally, Kim will attend a second employment training at another organization that is a partner of Bronx Community Solutions, Employment Works. She continues to work on becoming financially independent and securing a place to live. Once she secures employment, Kim intends to pursue her bachelor’s degree.
As part of her growth and healthy choices, during our sessions Kim recognized several domestic violence dynamics in her current relationship. We discussed the topics of power and control in depth. We examined domestic violence materials that identify the cycle and tactics within an abusive relationship. At one point Kim exclaimed, “I recognize everything on this power and control wheel, this is exactly my relationship.” In achieving this awareness, Kim. made an important break-through. She decided this was not a healthy relationship, and that she deserves better.
Kim is on the road to empowerment; she continues to get stronger with every step.
- Melissa Novock
Bronx Community Solutions STARS Case Manager
*name has been changed