Kim is a single mother raising 3 kids and works full time in hospital administration. Her son Robert, 17, plays basketball and football at the same high school Kim and her father graduated from. Tyree, 17, is a friend of Robert who Kim took in. Omari, 8, is Kim’s nephew and he was adopted by Kim when he was only 2 days old.
Kim and her family live in Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood. Columbia City is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the Northwest in terms of income and ethnicity. The majority of the neighborhood is made up of single-family homes and some low-income apartments. The views of Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains have prompted the building of expensive new homes. Despite rapid gentrification, pockets of poverty still exist.
Rebuilding Together Seattle is working with Kim and her family to ensure they are living in a safe and healthy home. They endured Seattle’s winter without any heat due to not being able to afford oil for their furnace. Cold air would blow in from a detached window in the living room. Kim said that she hated seeing her boys have to do their homework with blankets wrapped around their shoulders.
Their kitchen needs extensive repairs. The family depends on a mini-fridge to store food due to their fridge being broken. Only two burners on their oven work. The sink constantly leaks, which makes the family have to empty a bucket of water into the tub regularly.
Rebuilding Together Seattle is currently working on their work scope for Kim’s home. They hope to replace the detached window, their fridge, the broken stove, and their basement door. They’d also like volunteers to fix a leaking faucet, repair the shower, install a new lock on the front door and porch light, and organize their basement with the help from the family.
Claire Oatey, the program and development associate for Rebuilding Together Seattle, said Kim was very thankful to be chosen to receive free home repairs. “She isn’t concerned with how her home looks, only that is safe and warm for her kids.”