Jermoni & Kimberly
Jermoni and Kimberly, in their first apartment on move in day
Meet Jermoni and Kimberly, two 20 year old youth who are learning to live on their own in their “first place,” an apartment provided through First Place for Youth in Los Angeles. Kimberly and Jermoni share a two-bedroom apartment in the Highland Park neighborhood, located north of downtown LA. Both experienced abuse, neglect and homelessness in their lives. Jermoni was taken into foster care when she was born and spent her entire life in the system, with no deep connection with her mother or her father. Today, these young women are focused and determined to make it on their own.
Both work with a First Place Youth Advocate (case manager) and an Education & Employment Specialist, who work with them to set and achieve their individual goals. Kimberly just finished her coursework to get her high school diploma and credits First Place with helping her understand the importance of furthering her education. “It is important to not only get a high school diploma but to also further my education because more education means more money,” she says. Jermoni says she likes paying rent every month, as it makes her feel a sense of responsibility and achievement. Today, these young women are balancing work and are school in community college. Jermoni plans to become a nurse, while Kimberly aspires to enter clothing and fashion design.
The two have become fast friends, providing support and encouragement to each other. They will call each other out when they are slacking off on keeping the house clean and will schedule time together for a “mini-spa days” at their home every month or so, when they’ll deep condition their hair, give themselves facials and paint their nails. They love spending time together and liken their relationship as family, family that they don’t otherwise have.
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