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Meet Kimberly Stewart

Kimberly Stewart was in desperate circumstances. She was fleeing domestic violence, and she knew she had to get herself and her three-year-old son to safety.

Fortunately, she had the team at Friendship Place to help her. “At three in the morning, staff picked me up and brought me to The Brooks.”

After ensuring her physical safety, the Brooks team set on helping Ms. Stewart with another critical issue – getting her son evaluated for autism. Her son was preverbal, and needed services, but no one knew exactly what.

The Brooks connected Ms. Stewart with DC Public Schools’ Early Stages program. The Early Stages Program provides evaluation services that identify children’s needs and finds solutions to meet them.

Working together, Ms. Stewart, the DC Public School program, and The Brooks team have helped her son. “He is speaking now and can even go outside to play,” Ms. Stewart tells us.

Ms. Stewart and her son’s story are like so many others we hear. Many of the parents who come to us are facing immediate safety issues, while also needing to address educational and developmental challenges for their children.

Fortunately, the Friendship Place team is trained to address both concerns and works daily to assure that parents and children don’t just survive, but also thrive. Ms. Stewart tells us that “Maeve (her case manager) is awesome,” and has great things to say about the entire Brooks staff. “It’s rare you find a place where people make you feel special” like the Brooks does.

This level of care and concern has inspired Ms. Stewart, too. “I want to go back to school for early childhood education to help kids with autism.” She wants to help other children succeed in school, like the Brooks is helping her son.

Kimberly Stewart, The Brooks program participant

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