A Fresh Start: Kimolyn’s Story

Kimolyn at the Marbella Community Center.

For Kimolyn E., her home at Marbella Apartments represents much more than just a place to live- it embodies the beginning of a new chapter in a life that has seen its share of hardships.

Originally from southern Virginia, Kim relocated to the metro-DC area with her family about 20 years ago. Throughout her adulthood, Kim worked in the education field and was studying for her nursing certificate. At the time, she was living with a roommate she knew through her church community in Woodbridge. Unfortunately, at a time when things were going so well for Kim, tragedy struck. Her mother, with whom she was extremely close, suddenly passed away.

After this tremendous loss, Kim’s life began so spiral downwards. Feeling the emotional weight of her mother’s death paired with school and the logistical challenges of everyday life, Kim had an emotional breakdown. She acknowledges she was severely depressed and stopped actively participating in life- including paying bills and managing her living arrangements. This led Kim to need housing assistance, so in 2013, she moved into an A-SPAN shelter on Columbia Pike.

While living in the shelter, Kim was working part-time. Building savings is a fundamental component of the program, so she worked hard to develop her assets. After some time, A-SPAN familiarized Kim with APAH and the opportunity to secure a housing grant to assist with covering rent. Additionally, Kim qualified for disability assistance due to a shoulder injury from a previous position. With these tools in hand, Kim knew she was ready to seek independent housing.

Today, Kim is arriving on her four-year anniversary at Marbella Apartments. She absolutely loves the community and its services. “Everyone in the building is super friendly. We have a mixture of families and singles, and folks from all over. I share milk and leftovers when I have them- we are all together.” Kim is an active participant in weekly AFAC distributions and attended computer literacy classes in 2017. She also enjoys APAH’s summer picnics, where she enjoys the music, but most of all, the snacks!

Kim enjoys bowling, swimming, and cooking (southern cuisine in particular). She spends a lot of time with her sisters, nieces, and nephews in Maryland. She is currently working on obtaining her driver’s license, as well as a part-time job, hoping to once again work with children. “I would love to finish my nursing certificate- I started so many years ago, so it would be like starting from scratch,” she said. Kim’s eyes light up as she discusses how she would love to help those in need with her future nursing credentials, especially those effected by natural disasters.

When reflecting on her past four years at Marbella Apartments, Kim has nothing but fond memories. “It is great to get to know people with different backgrounds and experiences. I don’t know where else could I find that.”