Home Start launched our first social enterprise, the Home Start Thrift Boutique, in January of 2015 with a legacy gift left by a dear friend of Home Start, Meg Jacobs. The Home Start Board tasked our CEO with finding an enduring project that would ensure these funds had a lasting impact.
One of our Maternity Housing Program Peer Counselors (a successful graduate of the program herself) identified the crucial need for workforce training for young mothers facing homelessness. Employment is a key ingredient needed to break the cycle of abuse and neglect.
Since then, the boutique has flourished in this refurbished house located at 3611 Adams Avenue in the Normal Heights neighborhood of San Diego.
Today, it operates not only as a resale shop with profits going right back into Home Start’s life-changing programs, but also creates employment and training opportunities for women in those programs. It can be difficult for single mothers with limited work experience to get a first job, so our boutique offers a safe place for them to build a resumé and gain necessary skills to help them excel in their future endeavors.
Meet Maria, Store Manager
Thrift Boutique Manager, Maria, has been running the boutique for two years and has brought a refreshing sense of style and organization to the store and the merchandise we carry.
“We pride ourselves on the quality and integrity of our goods… boutique items at a thrift price” says Maria.
Maria’s thirty-four years of retail experience has been an asset to the store as well as to the employees.
“My absolute favorite thing about working at the Thrift Boutique is working with the staff and knowing that I can share my retail experience with them so that they can apply those skills in a different workplace if and when needed.”
On any given day when you walk into Home Start Thrift Boutique, you’ll meet our friendly staff members, like Alexis and Miranda. Both of these women have been through a lot and are succeeding despite life’s challenges.
Meet Alexis, Sales Clerk
Alexis became homeless in 2014 after losing her job. She found herself doing drugs and getting into trouble before she found out she was pregnant. She found a shelter that helped her into the Home Start Maternity Housing program where she now lives with her three year old son. “I’m glad I found Home-start and that I’m getting the services me and my son deserve.”
Alexis is growing in confidence in her role as a sales clerk.
“The most important thing I get out of working at the boutique is having the experience of working in a store, how to handle a cash register, and having customer service skills.”
She also appreciates being able to assist the families of Home Start in any way possible.
“It’s a great place to donate your items, but also you’re helping the programs in Home Start and customers have a great place to shop and have great deals on items in the boutique.”
Meet Miranda, Sales Clerk
Miranda is always happy to help. She’s been working at the boutique for about a year now and can show you some of the hidden treasures.
“As a sales clerk I work at the register, collect donations, and ensure the boutique’s cleanliness and organization. I enjoy the way everything is neat and organized at the boutique because thrift stores are normally so unorganized.”
As a former foster child that has faced many difficulties in her life, Miranda enjoys the work and finds it a welcome distraction from day-to-day challenges.
“My goals now are to get into my new apartment and get another job while I work on getting my driver’s license and going to college.”
We love our staff and the way they’ve made the store such a comfortable place to visit. Come in, look around, say hello, and if you can’t find what you’re looking for… just ask!
Our motto: Repurpose for a Purpose
We are currently accepting donations by appointment to ensure we’re well staffed to serve you in an efficient manner.
Give us a call at 619-906-5996 to schedule your drop-off and please ensure your items are clean and in good condition. Thank you!
The Home Start Thrift Boutique is located at 3611 Adams Avenue in Normal Heights, directly across from Vons, and there is free street parking available.
See you soon!