Compass Family Services Client
Kim Davenport | Client of Compass Family Services
San Francisco, California
Kim Davenport grew up in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood surrounded by family. It was a happy childhood, and she credits her father with toughening her up and her mother with teaching her about kindness, compassion, working hard, and the importance of community. As a teenager, she often tagged along with her mother, a home health care worker, lending a helping hand to those in the neighborhood who needed a little extra support. She particularly cherished the time spent visiting with her mother’s older clients — listening to their stories, learning from their experiences, drinking in their wisdom — so, after graduating from high school, she decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps and found work as a home health care provider, offering assistance, companionship, and a support system to senior citizens. Kim found her first client quickly — a local longshoreman who hired her to help his elderly mother with everyday tasks while he worked in the shipyard. From there, she worked with different clients, providing each with support and companionship.
At 24, Kim gave birth to her daughter, Aniliah. Six months later, she began work at Institute on Aging, where she still works today. Being a single mother was not easy and Kim, who was always helping others, found herself in need of a helping hand. She moved back in with her family, temporarily, but felt strongly about making her own way. She and Aniliah spent time in Pathway House and then Hamilton Family Shelter. Kim had never spent time in a shelter before, but they helped her get back on her feet. She will be forever grateful to the people who provided much-needed support when she needed it most and taught her life skills that helped her transition from being in a shelter to having her own space. But finding a place to live in San Francisco is not easy. Even though Kim had a full-time job and the support of a close-knit family, making ends meet in the Bay Area is just difficult — it’s hard to find affordable housing and it’s even harder to support a family, particularly when working long hours for minimum wage. Kim struggled. But she was trying. And that’s when she found Compass Family Services. A friend told her that Compass might be able to help her find affordable housing. And they did. A Compass case manager helped get Kim on the priority list with the Housing Authority. Soon after, the Housing Authority called and Kim, with the support of Compass, found a home for herself and her infant daughter.
Compass Family Services was able to support Kim and Aniliah because they receive support from Opportunity Fund. Through its New Markets Tax Credit program, Opportunity Fund has provided more than $14 million to Compass Family Services, which goes directly to support its programs and services like the one that helped Kim find a home.
Compass is still a big part of Kim and Aniliah’s lives. Aniliah has been going to the Compass Family Services free daycare program since she was six or seven months old. Like any new mother, Kim was hesitant at first to drop Aniliah off while she went to work. But she saw how much the Compass staff cared. Kim feels fortunate that she can go to work every day and know that her daughter is okay, and she doesn’t have to worry. That, she says, is the best feeling of all. Kim loves how hands-on the program is. Every day, Aniliah is learning new things, so she will be well prepared when it’s time for her to start school. She’s also learning other important lessons — sharing, caring, and a little Spanish, too. And because it’s all free, Kim has been able to go back to work and focus on growing her career. Without Compass, she’s not sure she could have afforded rent, necessities, and childcare. Compass gave Kim options. And, for that, Kim will be forever appreciative.
Compass has helped Kim in other ways, too. She says the Compass staff keeps her motivated. And they are also quick to offer support and solutions when things don’t go as planned. When money was tight, they provided Kim with everyday essentials like diapers, milk, and healthy food. There was no judgment, just help when she needed it most. Compass has also provided Kim with a sounding board and a place to get answers. Compass introduced her to a whole host of people in and around her neighborhood that she might otherwise have never met. People who have become her mentors, her safety net, and her friends.
Most importantly, Compass has given Kim the ability to think big. For herself, she just wants to keep going. Thanks to Compass, she feels like she is on the right path. But she wants to go even further — grow her career, buy a house, be better, and, of course, keep setting a good example for Aniliah. Kim hopes that Aniliah will see her as a good role model and bypass some of the struggles that she went through. Like all parents, Kim just wants the best for her daughter. She wants Aniliah to stay positive. To keep singing, dancing, and lifting everyone’s spirits. She wants her to be successful and to stay true to who she is. And she would love for Aniliah to go to college one day.
Thanks to Compass Family Services, Kim and Aniliah have a home. Stability. Confidence. Education. Community. Goals. And, most importantly, a future.