Press: San Bernardino Sun, “Kim Carter Says Too Many Women Suffer Too Many Hardships”
METRO RIVERSIDE — (12-14-11) — CARTER — Time For Change Foundation founder and ambassador Kim Carter poses with: (from left to right) Ronald, Anthony, baby Hailee, and Samantha in the Children’s Learning Center at Sweet Dreams Women’s Shelter in San Bernardino December 14, 2011. The center has been open since 2010. GABRIEL LUIS ACOSTA/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER.
Kim Carter knows the fear and gnawing hunger of homelessness.
She’s been there.
But she also lived the experience of a hand-up rather than a hand-out.
When Carter founded the Time for Change Foundation in 2002, she did so with a passion to help women in need by providing essential resources when they are ready to change the course of their lives.
Since then, she has dedicated her life to providing women the tools necessary to recover from the effects of homelessness, drug addiction, abuse, and incarceration.
“I started the foundation in the garage of my home,” she said. “I know how it feels to be homeless, but I’ve been steadfast and stayed the path. I’ve had to fight to stay in existence, but God doesn’t put any more on you than you can bear.”
Her husband Mark and his business partners helped her establish the foundation.
Over the years, the foundation has helped more than 500 families get back on their feet.
The foundation now has two homes and a seven-unit apartment building that serves as an emergency shelter and transitional housing for needy families. “It is a permanent solution to a longtime problem,” said Carter, 48. “San Bernardino is second in the nation in poverty and if we don’t have a housing stock, we will have even more homeless.”
Carter, who lives in San Bernardino, believes in a homestyle solution to the problem, not an institutional one. In the program, families live in comfortable, neat and homey environments, sharing chores, attending workshops, taking turns cooking meals that meet nutritional guidelines.
No junk food. No bad TV. Children don’t watch MTV but wholesome family shows instead.
“We give these women and children a safe place to heal, recover, and grow. We provide hope. Our main objective is to help women recognize their value and use a strength-based approach to address their need,” Carter said.
“Children are our future – if we don’t address the problem with parents, we will let a whole generation of children go down the drain.”
The results so far are gratifying, but so much more needs to be done, she said.
“There is evidence that when children live in good environments, they go from struggling to academic achievement – even getting awards. We’ve had children come here who had been living in abandoned vehicles and homes without lights.”
“Kids who were diagnosed with autism and would run and hide now are on the computer, putting together puzzles, talking, and thriving,” Carter said.
“We still hear from people who’ve been in the program – we get invitations to birthday parties, graduations, pictures of families. Sometimes we still help them by providing some basics – but we do it on a shoestring,” she said.
“We still need public assistance to keep the shelter doors open and keep those children from falling through the cracks.”