Home Start’s mission is to assure the safety and resiliency of children by strengthening families and their communities. We do this by addressing the conditions that can contribute to risky or abusive situations – poverty, unsafe neighborhoods, lack of affordable housing, and unemployment – while also promoting individual self-sufficiency and emotional needs.
It’s a big goal and there’s not a simple answer, but over the years since our founding in 1972, we’ve developed a range of effective programs to meet San Diego’s unique and specific needs.
Community Services for Families (CSF)
The goal of CSF is to promote child safety, child well-being and stable living environments for children. Our role is often as advocates for children and reunification as families navigate the Child Welfare system. We offer parenting education and in-home support services, along with access and guidance toward many of the city’s available resources. This is a key program for shaping and encouraging the full potential of a family’s future. Learn More
Maternity Housing Program (MHP)
San Diegans may be most familiar with this program through our Home Start Thrift Boutique in Normal Heights. Our boutique is a social enterprise which employs young mothers, offering employment experience and training in conjunction with our Maternity Housing Program. Our MHP provides pregnant or parenting homeless women ages 18-24 and their children with housing and wrap-around supportive services such as counseling, budgeting, and basic necessities. This program is not a hand out, but a hand up that is meant to lead to self-sufficiency and healthy family relationships. Learn More
Behavioral Health Services (BHS)
The Behavioral Health team at Home Start provides therapy services to children, families, and adults, both in the community and at the Home Start Inc. Counseling Center. With a team of highly-trained therapists, each skilled in specific techniques, we are able to assist family members who struggle with the impacts of difficult situations. Most services are offered free to clients. Learn More
First 5 First Steps (F5FS)
This program provides in-home parent education to pregnant women and their families. Our Family Support staff provides services to teens, military families (including active duty and veterans), immigrants, and low-income women. This relationship can begin with pre-natal mothers and continue all the way until the child is five years old, providing guidance through those most important formative years. Learn More
Communities in Action (CinA)
Each year, CinA offers free tax prep assistance to families that qualify, and while this is a very popular and important way we serve the community, the program has a much bigger impact. Communities In Action provides a continuum of care including employment services, financial coaching and income support services designed to help move individuals and families towards self-sufficiency with services tailored to each client’s specific needs. Working from a culturally competent approach, each client is treated as a partner in the creation of their individualized service plans. Learn More
And we’re not done yet! Home Start is constantly working with the communities we serve and local governments to find areas we can best improve the lives and futures of San Diego families.
Bright Futures Candles
In 2019 we launched an additional social enterprise to employ young mothers taking part in our Maternity Housing Program and train them for future careers. We built a candle-making shop in the back of our Thrift Boutique where we hand-pour uniquely scented candles. All profits return to support our life-changing programs. Bright Futures Candles are available in-store at the boutique or online at brightfuturescandles.com.
And last, but definitely not least, this year we launched our Host Home Program – a community and volunteer-based response to youth homelessness. We ask generous San Diegans to open their homes to youth who are looking for short-term resources and support. This involves a rigorous matching and screening process to ensure a good fit between the host family and youth, along with regular check-ins and guidance from our staff. We hope this will provide a nourishing alternative for youth who just need a place to feel safe in order to focus on their future. Learn More
All of these programs work in unison to provide a wide-reaching safety net for children and families in San Diego. We rely on the support of donors and volunteers to make these efforts real and are beyond appreciative for the funds raised by the San Diego community. If you’re able to help, please Donate Here.