‘Our organization wraps its arms around homeless women and children and takes them through a journey to self-sufficiency’: Kim Carter, Founder of Time for Change Foundation
The Silicon Review
“We have helped over 3,300 homeless women and children reach self-sufficiency and will continue to make a difference in the lives of the people we serve.”
The State of California is horrific in regards to low-income housing availability. Homeless mothers pay the ultimate sacrifice when they lose permanent custody of their children and are systematically barred from meeting the main threshold requirements for reunification. Kim Carter, Founder of the Time for Change Foundation (TFCF), understands these costs intimately. She knows that families are paying the ultimate price for California’s affordable housing crisis. Without a stable home, a mother can lose her children to child protective services or be forced to remain in a violent situation.
Kim Carter found a way to resolve these issues. She innovated a housing continuum through her Time for Change Foundation, which began with emergency shelters and presently builds affordable housing for women who have criminal backgrounds that disqualify them from renting. Kim’s solution was simple: homeless women need a home where they can heal, regain self-sufficiency, and provide for the emotional needs of their children. As a result, these individuals and their families become positive, active members of society.
The Silicon Review was privileged to interview Kim Carter, Founder of the Time for Change Foundation, and here’s what she had to say.
Through Hardship to the Stars: The Journey of Kim Carter and the Time for Change Foundation
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going”, this quote best suits Kim Carter. Kim has razed every hurdle and has become an inspiration to many women. She exemplifies the truth that no matter what the struggle or challenge in your path, the brickbats hurled at you, or the number of situations that pull you down, a sense of optimism and the will to keep going are what make you an achiever in every sense.
From homelessness and incarceration to becoming an affordable housing developer, Kim Carter has made an incredible transformation and, since then, has been changing the lives of others through her community activism and the Time for Change Foundation.
“I would describe my professional journey as ‘purposeful’. I now know that all of the obstacles I’ve faced, starting before this organization was even started, have served a larger purpose. Nothing in my professional journey would have come to be if it weren’t for my personal journey, because my experience with addiction and incarceration has built the foundation for each and every service we provide. It’s how we know exactly what the women need to get through this hardship and succeed. We’ve faced many obstacles along the way, but each one has taught us a new way of persevering and moving forward with our mission to help individuals on their path to self-sufficiency. It has taken a lot to come this far, but every obstacle has set us up for greater success,” said Kim Carter.
She further emphasized, “I believe that success is not a destination but a benchmark to move on to greater things. When I first started Time for Change Foundation, people in the community tried to shut me down by putting up Not In My BackYard (NIMBY) policies. They would write Op-Ed articles in the paper about how our shelters would bring down the city, yet year after year we have proved them wrong, and here we are 21 years later as the Top 10 CNN Heroes with 19 different locations. We have helped over 3,300 homeless women and children reach self-sufficiency and will continue to make a difference in the lives of the people we serve.”
TFCF’s Programs and Supportive Services
“Our work is funneled through three pillars: permanent housing, entrepreneurship, and thriving communities. We strongly believe that when a family is stably housed, they can achieve goals such as higher education, nurturing parents, and becoming civically engaged in the community. In order for a community to thrive, its members must have access to quality of life, economic longevity, and safe neighborhoods.”
The Time for Change Foundation has a variety of programs and services available to best serve every woman and their individual needs, including but not limited to:
Black and Brown Opportunities for Profit Center: A first-of-its-kind, high-tech, state-of-the-art, economic hub where women of color have access to the support and resources needed to create successful businesses and create generational wealth for their families. Less than 17% of entrepreneurs in the Inland Empire are minorities, and less than 3% are women—a statistic that the BBOP Center aims to shift by fueling entrepreneurship and small business development. The BBOP Center focuses on intentional structural adjustments to eliminate systemic barriers and helping women of color become free from historical disadvantages associated with current trends by investing in the underinvested.
BBOP Business Academy: A course within the BBOP Center that will guide women through the steps of creating, launching, and growing their businesses This academy will also open up opportunities for acquiring capital and teach the students necessary business skills such as negotiating and contract writing.
Emergency Shelter: TFCF has multiple emergency shelter options in San Bernardino County, where clients receive weekly case management and supportive services to help them reach their goals, such as family planning, adult education, healthcare services, computer skills, and legal aid.
Family Reunification Programs: TFCF reunited six children back with their mothers out of the foster care system, bringing our total to 311 children reunified since our inception. Their Positive Family Futures Reunification (PFFR) project is a two-Generational model that addresses both parent and child needs to break cycles of violence. This year, TFCF served 32 mothers and 17 children with this specific project.
TFCF’s Southern California shelter program served a total of 47 women and 18 children in the 2021–2022 Fiscal Year, including:
TFCF’s Dream Team
“My team and I place extreme importance on creating an environment where individuals can feel safe and comfortable sharing their truths, no matter how hard it can be, because that’s the only thing that’s going to help them move forward. I, in a position of leadership, always share my truth with the women that we work with in an effort to show them that they can do hard things just as I have, as a point of inspiration and hope. I share my unedited story so they know they can share theirs too without fear of judgment. In return, we hope that each person shares their authentic feelings with us so we can best serve and help them,” added Kim Carter.
A Look Ahead: TFCF’s Roadmap
“Our executive director, Vanessa Perez, along with the board of directors and the founder, will continue to assist in long-term strategic planning and create goals that will take us into the next century. I’m also looking forward to seeing Perez grow and expand in her vision for the clients and develop the team to reach those goals.”
BBOP Center and Three Smooth Choices: New project, program implementation, staffing plans, business plans, culinary training, construction, and implementing policies and procedures in these spaces
The BBOP Center is three-fold, consisting of:
Brighter Futures Emergency Shelter Expansion: TFCF’s first expansion project, located in the Bay Area, is home to homeless women and children seeking to become self-sufficient and end homelessness.
Affordable housing: TFCF will strategize for further affordable housing development opportunities.
Sustainability: Fund development strategies and strategic partnerships. TFCF’s longstanding history of delivering impactful programs while sharing stories of success continues to be its number one donor solicitation strategy.
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Kim Carter: A Beacon of Hope for Homeless Women
Kim Carter is the Founder and Ambassador of the Time for Change Foundation. Today, she is a powerful leader who transforms the lives of those impacted by poverty, marginalization, and recidivism. She is also the author of Waking Up to My Purpose, a memoir highlighting her extraordinary life, and Invisible Bars - Barriers to Women’sHealth and Well-Being During and After Incarceration, a report that provides a road map for addressing issues of incarceration.
Kim’s notable achievements are numerous, including Unforgettable 2023 ‘Best of the Best’ Community Pioneers, the Top 10 CNN Heroes Award, Dreamers, Visionaries, and Leaders – Lifetime Achievement Award, the NAACP Local Hero Award, and Business Woman of the Year – National Association of Women Business Owners, to name only a few.