A Place To Call My Own

Kimberly Early was a single mother on welfare, trying to live on $400 a month while raising a small child in Seattle. She dreamed of finding a well paying job that allowed her to be self-sufficient. But trapped between the demands of raising a child, paying for daycare and looking for a job, she could not even afford basic needs.

"As a single mom raising a son, I wanted to go back to school for my teaching certificate and to move into an apartment. But I didn't know how I was going to do this," said Kim. "How was I going to afford an apartment on public assistance, making $400 a month?"

Connecting with Capitol Hill Housing, she found a secure home at the Maxwell Apartments for her and her son Quentin. Kim and her neighbors, many of whom had children, shared babysitting duties, meals, and the small back yard of the residential fourplex. The tight knit group formed a community as they watched each other's children when one parent was running late from work or another had a doctor's appointment. In a building where no one could afford a babysitter, strong bonds were formed.

"Once I was working and off of financial assistance, I now joined the ranks of low income working people with families- juggling rent, child care, food and health care costs. I'm not sure how I managed, but if it wasn't for an agency like Capitol Hill Housing, I don't know where I would be."

Having stable housing allowed Kim to complete a teaching certificate and get a job in the field she is passionate about. She began saving her money with the goal of becoming self-sufficient. Recently, she purchased a home on Beacon Hill, which gave her more room for her growing son and their new dog named Chipmunk. "Capitol Hill Housing gave me the chance to get on my feet and earn a place to call my own. I'll never forget the opportunity."