As a nonprofit organization, Home Start relies on committed members of the local community to sit on our board of directors. Their expertise and guidance allow us to make the most of our resources so we can help more San Diegans in need.
Board Member, Jessica Doidge, has been helping Home Start for the last two years. Jessica grew up here in San Diego before attending UC Santa Barbara followed by Cal Western School of Law. Now she uses her skills toward shaping our strategies for strengthening families.
Hello Jessica and thank you for talking with us. We appreciate all of your work in the board room, but tell us a little about what you like to do with your free time?
Well, I just moved to the Ocean Beach area and got a boxer pup, so one of my favorite things to do on a free Saturday is take him to dog beach and watch him play in the water and with the other pups. I also really enjoy traveling and did a trip to Paris, London and Amsterdam over Christmas and New Years last year. I love art so I made sure to visit all the museums I possibly could; I even went to the Louvre two days in a row! I made sure to cross seeing my favorite painting (Raft of the Medusa by Gericault at the Louvre) in person off my bucket list. Most recently, I traveled to Glacier National Park in Montana to enjoy some time hiking in the mountains.
What is it about Home Start that initially brought you in?
I feel like there is no one specific aspect of Home Start that drew me to it. It is really the entire approach that I felt was unique and important (e.g., counseling, work skills, housing, etc.) to making a lasting and sustainable impact in people’s (and family’s) lives. Home Start’s holistic approach focuses on helping its clients make changes in their lives and build the confidence they need to become independent, thriving members of society.
Home Start is very unique in that way. We have a wide range of programs to more specifically approach the various difficulties that affect young families across San Diego County.
Yes, I also really enjoyed the concept of Home Start’s social enterprise program through the Thrift Boutique on Adams Ave. The Thrift Boutique offers not only a source of funds for Home Start, but also a source of skills training for many of Home Start’s clients. Home Start also recently launched a candle making component of the boutique and the Bright Future Candles are my favorite not only because they smell great and are of great quality, but because each candle is handmade with love by Home Start’s own clients. Moreover, I get to feel good about my candle addiction.
Since working with us, have you had any particular experiences that moved you?
I remember my first visit to one of Home Start’s maternity housing locations. One of the clients was helping with the tour. Laura told me that when she came into the program she was super shy and lacked confidence and through the program she became more outgoing, talkative and confident. She told me that the client worked at the boutique and at first would barely come out of the back and was very anxious to talk to customers, but over time and with progress in the program she was thriving as a sales associate in the boutique regularly helping customers. I loved hearing this story and it is one of the stories that persuaded me to help out with Home Start.
The progress we see can be so inspiring. Thank you for sharing a little of your own story with us. Is there anything more you’re hoping to accomplish with Home Start in the years to come?
In addition to helping Home Start achieve more success stories like the one described above, I would like to spread awareness about the difference that Home Start is making in the San Diego community and promote ways each and every person can get involved.