Founder Kim Carter is bringing programming and housing services to help formerly incarcerated, homeless women and families turn their lives around
by Layla Crater
Time for Change Foundation is expanding its award-winning model for helping families achieve self-sufficiency to the Bay Area. Founded by Kim Carter, Time for Change Foundation works to empower women and families recovering from homelessness, addiction and incarceration through programs and housing.
“Through our work in San Bernardino, we began to hear from the incarcerated women we worked with in Southern California that our sisters in the Bay Area needed our help,” said Carter. “Our award-winning programming helps formerly incarcerated and/or homeless women and their families in Southern California achieve self-sufficiency, reunite with their families and thrive. Our model works. I know we can make a real impact here.”
Carter launched Time for Change Foundation in 2002 based on her own experiences as a formerly incarcerated woman who faced homelessness and substance abuse issues before becoming a mother. The organization started with one shelter with six beds. Today, Time for Change offers three types of housing, including emergency shelter, permanent-supportive and affordable. Time for Change has helped over 1,500 women make the transition from homelessness and incarceration into self-sufficiency.
In Northern California, Time for Change has opened Brighter Futures, an emergency housing facility located in Hayward, close to schools and transportation. Brighter Futures houses six women and their children. In keeping with Time for Change’s goal of providing supportive services to equip women and children with the tools they need to recover from homelessness, drug addiction, mental and physical abuse, family separation and the effects of incarceration, Brighter Futures includes onsite case management services, life skills education and a host of other services. The women who live there can stay as long as they need until they are able to move out and maintain safe and secure housing on their own.
One example is Aisha Esa, who suffered from addiction and recognized that she was not being the mother her daughter Lilly, who lived with Aisha’s mother, deserved. Aisha found the strength to enter a nine-month rehabilitation program and moved into Brighter Futures in January 2019. Today Aisha is a full-time student working on her nursing degree and has been reunited with her daughter. Brighter Futures finally provided Aisha with a safe place for her and her daughter.
“We know that when we come together as a community, we can empower women to use their own voices to make real and lasting change in their lives and the lives of their families and loved ones,” said Vanessa Perez, director of Time for Change. “We are energized by the challenge of doing this crucial work to help women and their families achieve self-sufficiency in the Bay Area and excited to see what impact we can have.”
In addition to Brighter Futures, Time for Change is currently in process to purchase additional property to develop into permanent affordable housing in Northern California to further its goal of helping families in the Bay Area to transition into, and maintain, permanent housing. The development will be modeled after Time for Change’s Phoenix Square, an award-winning low-income housing project in Southern California.
Brighter Futures provides a crucial lifeline for formerly incarcerated women reentering their communities in the Bay Area where they may not be able to afford housing or be able to manage the expansive requirements they face upon release. By working closely with Brighter Futures residents to meet their self-sufficiency goals, Time for Change seeks to transition women into permanent housing and stop recycling homelessness.
“The City of Hayward totally supports Time for Change’s mission and the mission of Brighter Futures,” said Hayward Mayor Barbara Halliday in her remarks at the opening of Brighter Futures. “What this home, and what this organization does, is not only giving a new start to the women who stay there but a much brighter future to their children as well. To Time for Change, welcome to our community.”
About Time for Change Foundation
Since its inception in 2002, Time for Change Foundation has helped over 1,500 women make the transition from homelessness and incarceration into self-sufficiency, and has reunited close to 300 children back with their mothers out of foster care, using a three-pronged approach that includes direct services, advocacy and community development. Time for Change is focused on dismantling structural and systemic barriers to equality and justice while building the community infrastructure needed to support low income families. For more information, visit: https://www.timeforchangefoundation.org/.
Layla Crater, senior communications manager for Change Consulting LLC, can be reached at email@example.com.