As Family Renew Community’s homelessness prevention specialist, Kimberly Bandorf connects families with money for rent and utilities so they don’t lose their housing. More important, she’s passionate about preparing them to be OK when that short-term assistance runs out.
“It’s not about what you can do today. It’s what you can make out of what you can do tomorrow,” she says. “You live within your means. You expand your stream of money.”
Kim’s advice to her clients for increasing their means can range from a referral to a food pantry to a suggestion of turning a jewelry-making hobby into a side hustle. She voraciously gathers information to share about what resources are available in the area to help struggling families make ends meet, and takes time to get to know and encourage her clients’ strengths.
“Being here and doing this and meeting with these clients teaches me a lot,” she says, who provides services countywide but is based at Holly Hill Housing and Homelessness Prevention Program.
Kim came on board at Family Renew Community in January, when the agency was awarded a Volusia County government grant to provide homelessness prevention services for families with children. She brought with her experience as a case manager for homeless men and women at The Salvation Army in Daytona Beach and a longtime nurse.
Married with two grown children and a newborn grandchild in town, she is working toward a Master of Social Work degree. And she’s about to get even busier. As of July 1, Family Renew Community is expanding its homelessness prevention component with grant funding from the state of Florida.