Peer Support Specialist for Northwest Housing Alternatives Pathways Program
Kim Kerkstra was born in Portland, Oregon. She has a daughter that is 30 years of age. In 2006, she lost her son to suicide. He had been diagnosed with severe bipolar and chronic depression. After experiencing countless years of domestic violence from the father of her two children, as well as fighting through the struggle of her addiction and the lifestyle that trailed it, Kim knew that the time had come for her to do something different. She wanted to change her life around for herself, her daughter, and her grandchildren.
She began working at Bradley Angle, an agency that helps survivors of domestic violence, which she had received services from. During her time there, she worked as an Advocate, Case Manager, and Lead Emergency Service Specialist. She received her Interpersonal Peer Support Specialist Certificate, as well as her Certified Recovery Mentor Certificate through Bradley Angle. After working for 9 years for this agency, she still continues to do the work as an on-call staff member. It is with great compassion that Kim is able to meet her peers where they are at, listening and sharing their experiences, strengths, and hopes with others, or just as a listening ear.