You might have noticed that Home Start recently launched our first-ever GoFundMe campaign in order to raise support for a very exciting project. We’re currently in the process of expanding our Maternity Housing Program by purchasing our fourth residential location! This will mean five new homes for families that are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless.
Home Safe Home
Since 2009, Home Start has worked to provide housing and individualized support to women who are pregnant or have small children and find themselves in unstable living environments. Some are forced to leave their family home when they become pregnant, others are fleeing an abusive relationship, while many have found themselves living on the streets or in shelters due to unfortunate circumstances. They are all seeking to transform their lives and give their growing families stability, security and a fresh start.
Real Estate Reality
It probably won’t surprise you to hear that California has the highest rate of youth homelessness in the nation. But, did you know that in San Diego, 12% of unsheltered people are under twenty-five years old? The lack of affordable housing is more problematic than ever as rents have increased and vacancies have drastically reduced. With the rent of a studio apartment averaging $1,413, securing housing is difficult for all of us, but especially trying for a single mother with childcare responsibilities.
More Than A Roof
Home Start’s Maternity Housing Program offers more than a roof over their heads. This is a 360º support system providing parental education, on-site Child Development Specialists, counseling, education and employment resources, and so much more. Women work with their Case Managers and facility staff to create individualized plans to reach their goals and achieve independence. And, each housing community is located near our Home Start Thrift Boutique where clients have the opportunity to gain employment and valuable skills. Our goal is to provide the space and services needed to build secure, loving, and self-sufficient families.
Of course, every story is different, but they all show the strength of young mothers willing to fight for their families. One young woman, Kassandra, was raised in an unsafe environment with two drug-addicted parents. Her father died of an overdose when she was just five. As a result, she found herself facing foster homes, group homes, human trafficking, domestic violence and homelessness. To keep her baby safe, she left an abusive relationship and ended up in a city shelter where she was referred to Home Start. Since arriving, Kassandra has enrolled in parenting classes and found childcare services so she could enroll in Community College. She’s currently thriving, has been hired as a Home Start Peer Counselor, and someday she’d like to start her own business.
Home Start has saved two hundred and sixty-five women like Kassandra from homelessness and uncertain futures. This new project we’re calling a Miracle will increase our available housing units by 20%. Imagine how many San Diego families that can affect in a hugely positive way.
Our current goal is to raise enough funds to rehab the first of our five new units into a beautiful home. If you can help or would like more information about this campaign, please visit our GoFundMe page.