Home Start’s Communities In Action program covers such a wide range of community services for San Diegans in need, it can be hard to keep up with. So we caught up with Program Manager, Krystal Andersen, to give us the big picture.
The Communities In Action Connection Hub inside the Jacobs Center downtown is where anyone can go to find assistance in an array of matters from needing a toothbrush to obtaining help filing taxes.
“Most of our clients hear about us via word of mouth and walk in. We have Case Managers available to consult with them regarding financial literacy and they can go from desk to desk and see how each department can help.”
Financial planning includes individualized personal coaching on techniques for managing a budget, improving a credit score, consolidating education loans, and preparing and filing taxes.
Tax assistance is offered through an amazing partnership with the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program, helping about 1,800 people every year. Assistance is available year-round, including back-tax filing, for families with a household income under $52,000.
Job readiness staff ensure resumés are up-to-date and HR ready. There is a group designed specifically to help those exiting the state prison system find employment. And, there is an in-depth workforce training program offered to small groups of twelve individuals who undergo four weeks of classroom learning followed by six weeks of on-the-job training at the Home Start Thrift Boutique. A great start toward full-time employment.
Resource referrals are also an important way Communities In Action interacts with the broader range of provisions available. They are able to guide those with specific needs toward partner agencies such as Cal Fresh, Medical, vocational training, bus passes, and work clothes through a partnership with Sharia’s Closet.
Krystal has seen lives transformed in many different ways. For some it’s relieving the burden of a financial misstep, for others it’s literally getting them out of harm’s way.
“We had a woman attend a Healthy Relationships workshop. She said she was just there for the lunch provided, but after the discussion she recognized that she was a victim of abuse herself and began asking a lot more questions and taking notes. A few days later she returned and we helped her find placement in a shelter. “
All of this and… every December, Communities In Action participates in the Home Start toy drive delivery day and celebration where children get to meet Santa and parents can ‘shop’ for gifts for their kids. It’s a joyful and fulfilling event that really brings out the holiday spirit across San Diego.
How Can You Help?
Communities In Action is in constant need of the very basics that give people dignity and protect their well being. Please consider donating diapers and hygiene supplies.
Our Amazon Wishlist makes it easy to order and send supplies directly. Or, feel free to drop off in person during our operating hours.
The Communities in Action program office:
Jacobs Center For Neighborhood Innovation
404 Euclid Avenue, Suite 328
San Diego, CA 92114
Phone (619) 229-3660
Office Hours (Monday – Friday)
8:30 A.M. – 12 P.M.
(closed for lunch)
12:30 P.M. – 4:30 P.M.