Growing up in an unstable family situation marked by addiction and abuse, Malia was in and out of foster care and experienced a great amount of housing instability.
Malia estimates she moved over 13 times as a child and went to over 10 different schools. It wasn’t until college that she felt any sense of stability in her living situation. She resided on campus at San Diego State University while attending classes and, thanks to Guardian Scholars, her housing fees were covered and the rooms she lived in were furnished. However, nothing belonged to her.
“That was my fear moving out of college – I had nothing of my own and everything was so expensive,” said Malia. “I would have been struggling on my own.”
Fortunately, Malia wasn’t on her own because in college she had connected with Just in Time for Foster Youth. By working with JIT to make supplemental income, she learned about My First Home, a service that helps transform empty spaces into warm homes. Now part of a caring community, Malia was invited to have a My First Home shopping day after she graduated college and was about to move into a new place.
“Just in Time was super helpful when I was moving into my house. I barely had to lift a finger! Everything in my room is from My First Home and it’s brought me a lot of peace. I’m comfortable and content, and I don’t have to worry about anything,” shared Malia. “The staff genuinely cares and they want you to have the things you need to succeed and live – not just survive.”