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Women of Courage: Kimberly

Mission Services’ Violence Against Women shelter, Inasmuch House, is marking 50 years of service to women and children making a new start in life. To commemorate we are sharing three stories of courageous women who are learning to heal and start new lives today. This is Kimberly’s story.

At Inasmuch House, Kimberly found the direction and support she needed to find her own way in life after leaving an unhealthy home.

Kimberly ran away from home at 19 to escape a psychologically abusive mother, a situation that she knows is difficult for some people to accept. “When I was young, adults would look at me and say, ‘Oh, it’s just an unruly child,” she says. “But it was real mental abuse. I didn’t know it at the time, but my father decided to leave my mother the very same day I packed my bags.”

Kimberly spent the next few months in youth shelters before coming to Mission Services’
Inasmuch House. “It was the cleanest and most compassionate shelter I stayed at,” she recalls. “They helped me find an apartment for just $300 a month.” Although Kimberly was safe and felt in control of her life for the first time, she was alone and living in poverty and soon started to become depressed. “It was the hardest period of my life. I was hospitalized after a suicide attempt that year, which is when I realized that I needed friends who could help me when I needed it.”

The next several years were rocky. Without an education beyond high school, Kimberly fought against poverty.

But things are much brighter now. She always loved computers, and after getting a job in tech support Kimberly has become a self-taught authority on cyber security. “Girls hear so many messages telling them not to pursue a career in technology,” Kimberly explains, “so I’m glad to help change that message.”

Kimberly and her fiancé plan to marry next year, but she says she will always remember Inasmuch House fondly. “You – people who donate to Inasmuch House – are making a real difference in people’s lives.”