We are open, honest, and courageous in the sharing of our time, treasure, and talents
We seek the WIN-WIN outcome in every situation to achieve the best solution for all
We use effective and empowering communication to serve our youth
We engage in a way that inspires our youth and fulfills our mission
We ask great questions
We take ownership of our words, actions, and commitments
Respect & Compassion:
We act with compassion at all times, towards ourselves and others
Mission & Vision
Our Mission is to engage a caring community to help transition-age foster youth achieve self-sufficiency and well-being.
Our vision is a future in which every youth leaving the foster care system has a community of caring adults waiting for them after 18. We believe consistent, long-term help from the heart is the foundation for the success of our youth so they can thrive and enjoy productive, satisfying lives.
For years, San Diego child advocacy attorney Jeanette Day witnessed a tragic transition that most people didn’t even know existed – foster youth leaving the Juvenile Court system without essential family support. In 2002, she enlisted the help of Diane Cox to create holiday gift baskets for youth who had emancipated from foster care with little or no family to count on. Moved by the spirit and the challenges faced by these courageous youth, Jeanette and Diane then reached out to Louarn Sorkin to lead the effort to recruit and organize volunteers to provide even more support for this under-served population.
By 2003, Just in Time was born as an auxiliary of the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation (now known as Promises2Kids). The My First Home and Basic Needs Programs were initiated, as well as efforts to increase awareness, community involvement, and contributions that would benefit transitioning foster youth.
A major turning point for the auxiliary occurred in 2004 when Kathryn Vaughn became Just in Time’s President. Inspired by the courage of these transitioning foster youth, Kathryn established a visionary goal: to create a dynamic, independent, and sustainable organization that would have the capacity to assist hundreds of youth each year. It was at this time that Tony Hsu joined the group as Treasurer, establishing a financial foundation for the organization and working to obtain the 501(c)3 non-profit corporate status, effective July 2006. (JIT nonprofit tax EIN#: 20-5448416)
As it grew, Just in Time retained the commitment and collaborative spirit that defined its earliest beginnings. Volunteers have worked alongside the Board and staff as an extended family to foster youth countywide, staying true to the values of compassion, authentic connection, commitment and community that transform lives and make Just in Time an organization that is truly giving “help from the heart.”
Major contributors to JIT in the first years as an auxiliary.
First American Title Company
Law Offices of Vaughn and Vaughn
Just in Time FAQ’s
1) What is the primary purpose of Just in Time? To help foster youth become capable, confident and connected and to break the cycle of foster care. We fill in the gaps for youth who don’t have family support; we’ve found that the biggest gap is caring connections and that’s what we build into every service we offer.
2) What are the JIT services? We often start with meeting an emergency need, such as rent assistance or a bus pass or setting up a first apartment. As we establish trust and build friendships, we address other needs such as money management, education support and college graduation, job skills, networking, meaningful employment, reliable transportation, health and well being.
3) What is unique about Just in Time? We mobilize the community to give youth what they need most – an extended family. We also build leadership within our population – half of our staff are former foster youth and all of our Youth Services coordinators were once in foster care.
4) How many youth do you serve? Over 600 youth per year, ages 18-26. In general, the breakdown is 65% females, 35% males.
5) How many volunteers does JIT have? About 600, including those who volunteer with groups such as schools, businesses, faith and civic organizations.
6) How does JIT measure impact? The effectiveness of JIT’s services is measured with quantitative and qualitative data connected to our Self-Sufficiency Scale and evaluated two ways — one for long term impact (i.e. financial security, etc.) and another for outcomes (i.e. current status of housing, savings, driver’s license, etc) toward our ultimate goal. That’s why JIT records, tracks and follows-up on every disbursement of funds, goods and furnishings provided, number of connections, and other immediate support to make sure it supports our intended impact — to help a young person who is working or going to school overcome challenges and continue on their path to self-sufficiency and well-being. The status of our impact is tracked until the youth ages out of JIT at age 27.
7) How do youth find Just in Time? Youth are referred to JIT by their case managers, social workers, and court advocates, as well as by their siblings and friends. JIT also reaches out to youth thru schools and youth organizations such as Voices for Children, San Pasqual Academy, Cal State San Marcos, etc.
8) What is your Budget? Approximately $2,000,000 and $166,000 In-Kind (non-cash donations). What percentage (ratio) goes directly toward Youth Services? 75%
9) How is Just in Time funded? Individual donations, foundations, corporations, civic/faith organizations and our annual Walk the Talk celebration in March. The only government funding we receive (about 3%) is from the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.
10) Is Just in Time a 501-c- 3 nonprofit organization? Yes, all donations are fully tax-deductible. When you purchase a sponsorship or event ticket, the dinner portion is NOT tax deductible ($125).
11) What do you need? Financial support is always needed and welcome. We also know that we can’t serve as many youth as we do without a significant amount of volunteer support. We have a role that works for just about everyone’s schedule, interest, and availability.
12) How can I get involved? We’d love for you to get involved! Contact Allison@JITfosteryouth.org