“If you can breathe, you can achieve anything.”

Eighteen years ago, Timmi Kilgore was on what she refers to as a “rough road.” She was homeless, struggling with a serious addiction to drugs and alcohol, and a victim of rape and violence. A mother of five, she had lost custody of all but her youngest child.

Timmi’s situation was one of desperation and that’s when she found help. “I was homeless; I was tired; I was looking for a way out,” she shared. “I was in the shelter system, and they referred me to RHD.”  She learned about RHD’s Family House NOW (New Options for Women) in West Philadelphia, which provides long-term residential treatment for women who suffer with mental illness and addiction, along with their children. This program is one of the few in the country that offers residential treatment for both mothers and their children.

Timmi and her youngest child went to Family House NOW, a decision that ultimately changed her life. Today, she is an ambitious and successful small business owner and published author. She earned a master’s degree and is working toward a doctorate. She was recognized and inducted into the National Society for Leadership and Success. To add to her personal list of goals and accomplishments, Timmi is also now a homeowner and, after being reunited with her children several years ago, she takes pride in being a grandmother.

Timmi attributes her transformation to the valuable lessons she learned at Family House NOW. She believes that the suggestions and guidance she received, was instrumental in her becoming a living example of what is possible when someone is committed to change their life for the better.

During her time at Family House NOW, Timmi followed a structured program, which provided daycare services, allowing her to attend counseling sessions and make choices about her education and training. Timmi opted to take Certified Nurse Aid (CNA) training and participated in house activities before attending the training program. Her schedule was demanding, including individual and group meetings at night.

While the journey was challenging, Timmi now recognizes the significance of every step she took along the way. She appreciates the importance the program’s strict rules and necessary structures in place. Everything she learned during her time at Family House NOW has impacted her life tremendously. Timmi maintains excellent credit and has for years. “Discipline, restraint, budgeting, cleaning – I learned all of that at Family House NOW,” she shared.

Timmi vividly recalls her graduation ceremony from Family House NOW surrounded by her sponsor, family, and children who had started to reenter her life. “I remember being scared because it’s a protective environment,” she shared. “But I was ready and excited about what would come next.”

Following her graduation, Timmi engaged in transitional and subsidy programs that allowed her to further develop her skills. Eventually Timmi was able to purchase her own home. She and children began family therapy, focusing on communication and healing. Recognizing the importance of setting an example for her children, Timmi decided to pursue a college degree. She discovered a love for learning as an adult, which led her to earn associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees – soon adding a doctorate to that list!

Timmi wrote a book called A Rose Through the Crack to share her inspiring journey, published in 2021. She also became a certified professional coach and training specialist. She runs a daycare center in East Germantown for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. She established Kilgore Kreations, a nonprofit organization with a mission of offering love, inclusion, and hope to families and children facing challenging circumstances. The organization achieves this by providing them with baskets filled with essential items. Over 200 families have received baskets from Kilgore Kreations.

Timmi wants to offer hope to anyone currently facing similar struggles. “If you can breathe, you can achieve anything. There is never too much damage that cannot be healed. It’s not easy. It takes some hard work. But I’m telling you, no matter how bad the situation, it can be turned around.”

To learn more about Family House NOW and support their essential mission, visit www.rhd.org/program/family-house-now-new-options-for-women/.