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Father and son see light at the end of the tunnel

For Tim K., finding out about Neighborhood House through the grapevine has given him a new lifeline. 

Until a few months ago, the 51-year-old and his son had been homeless for two years. They had stayed with friends and family for about a year and a half, but felt they had become burdensome. So for the last six months they slept outdoors at the KOA Campground near Kent. Staying in a tent with a 15-year-old son who attended high school was very tough-going, Tim recalls.

“I believe the whole idea behind Neighborhood House is to help people who want and are willing to help themselves out of bad situations and back into self-sustainable housing,” he says. “Support without judgement is my favorite thing about the folks there. I didn't want a handout, just a hand-up. I would like to thank the donors from the bottom of my heart and I hope to someday give back and help others.”

The Yakima native was determined to get back on his feet, if not only for his own sake, but for his son’s happiness and well-being.

“My son screamed "YES!” when I told him he’d finally have his own room and bed to sleep in,” he says.

“With help from Grace, Munira and Roland at Neighborhood House, I have been able to get help preparing my resume, performing job searches, obtaining gas cards and ultimately getting rental assistance,” Tim says. “Without their help it would have taken much longer and been more difficult, but now we have an apartment to call our own and are doing well in Kent. Having a home will be the much-needed boost for my son to excel in school and build his confidence. And I’ve gained self-confidence and have a better sense of pride in myself as a parent. It has been a rough road but now I can see light at the end of the tunnel.”

Housing and Employment Coordinator Munira Farah says much of Tim’s success is a credit to his own drive and devotion to wanting to change his situation for his son. Says Munira,“He was motivated, goal-oriented and pleasant to work with. He made my job so much easier as he was the driving force in his success. I feel like all I did was provide him with support, a few job leads and an ear-he did everything all on his own. I am so proud of him, he is working full- time, bringing in a good income and finally has a place where he and his son can call home.”

An outdoor enthusiast, his hobbies include fishing with his son and racing remote-controlled cars and trucks. He also knows his way around the kitchen and can cook up a storm.

“I have learned that you need to find something to do for work that you like. I do handyman services to support us, and have been at it for 25 years. I do everything from remodeling to all phases of troubleshooting and repair of residential and commercial properties. My favorite thing is teaching and training. It is very rewarding to see people grow and learn."

It seems as though Tim is already giving back to others.

“The only advice I can give is to stay diligent, have faith and don't give up. You can do and overcome anything if you put your mind to it. Keep the faith!”