Kym Anderson, Orange County Restorative Justice Center, and COSA
Kym returned to her home state of Vermont in 2004 after working on behalf of victims of domestic violence in Washington State for many years. When I met Kym, 17 year ago, she was working on our local domestic and sexual violence task force providing countless hours, grant writing skills, and community engagement efforts to support much needed work in Orange county. Our work overlapped again when Kym joined our Intensive Domestic Abuse Program (IDAP) supervision team. Through that work, she was integral in supporting both probation officers and agency staff in facilitating groups for men with domestic violence convictions who were at high risk to re-offend. Kym’s work in this field demanded advocacy and supervision skills, compassion for those we served and a vision for hope, safety and justice for abused women.
After that (or maybe at the same time as that), Kym began running our Restorative Justice Program in Orange County. I served on the board with Kym for many years and have watched her work tirelessly, and with great compassion and skill to help individuals re-entering our community after incarceration. While Kym’s work focuses on helping individuals navigate the criminal legal system, Kym’s work demands a strong understanding of mental health and substance use needs and services as well. The bulk of Kym’s work involves organizing and participating in Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA) teams for our most high risk individuals. Additionally, Kym facilitates the Safe Driver program and most recently, she was an integral part of securing a new transitional housing grant for people coming out of prison into Orange County.
Kym is understated and humble, however, anyone that is paying attention can see that she is committed, passionate, empathetic, and giving and that she has made a remarkable difference in the lives of many within our community. She has strong relationships with business owners, service providers, landlords, probation and parole staff, and all of the clients that she serves as well as their families. As a therapist working with criminally involved clients, I often count on Kym for resources and I have seen her commitment and work play out in incredibly positive ways for our clients who are not only considered at high risk to re-offend or relapse but who are also often dismissed in our community. Kym’s career has been one of service to others and for the past 17 years, that service has been concentrated in Orange County. Kym is a collaborative professional who is often referring clients to our services and working in conjunction with our staff as necessary. She is an asset to our community and to the people that we serve. I hope you will consider her for this award.
This letter is in regards to the Arny Spahn community award. I would like to nominate Kym Anderson. I have worked in this community with Kym in her role with the Restorative Justice Program and COSA for over 10 years now. Kym has been an incredible support to many of the clients we share on our caseloads. She has supported people in accessing CMC services and has always been ready to team and provide resources to clients in the criminal justice program who need her support (and whom are a historically underserved and isolated population). Kym works tirelessly to support both victims and offenders in the community, she is constantly in background supporting with skill acquisition and resources such as housing. She is an amazing benefit and asset to the and I think this award would be a great way to recognize all her hard work and honor her commitment to making the world a better place.