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We engage a caring community to help transistion-age foster youth achieve self-sufficiency and well-being.

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 welcome young people leaving the foster care system into a community of caring adults and peers, providing all the assistance that a healthy family would normally provide.
What are the JIT services?

We often start with meeting an emergency need such as rent assistance, 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 attainment, job skills, networking, meaningful employment, reliable transportation, and health and wellbeing — everything a young adult needs to succeed. To view all of our services and learn more about each, click here.

What is unique about Just in Time?
1) Connection to community, built in to every service we provide.
2) Youth voice and experience – half our staff and ALL our Youth Services coordinators are former foster youth.
3) We provide personalized assistance based on each youth’s expressed needs and situation, taking the time to get to know who they are and how to best set them up for success (not a “one size fits all” approach you often find in other organizations).
How many youth do you serve?

Over 800 youth per year, ages 18-26. In general, the breakdown is 69% females, 31% males. Youth are qualified to be a JIT participant if they live in San Diego County, have spent any time in foster care (within or outside of San Diego County), and are currently working, going to school or have plans to do so.

How many volunteers does JIT have?

Over 600, including those who volunteer with groups such as schools, businesses, and faith and civic organizations.

How does JIT measure impact?

We measure impacts of every service we offer using both quantitative and qualitative data evaluated in two ways: for short-term outcomes and lasting impact toward our ultimate goals. Each service we offer has its own set of intended impacts that we use to gauge results. For example, we know that the college graduation rate for foster youth nationwide is 3-6%. By contrast, since 2006, 80% of JIT College Bound participants have either graduated or are still enrolled in school. Our goal is to survey all JIT alumni up to age 35 to prove JIT’s impact.

Does Just in Time collaborate with other groups?

Yes, collaboration is an important part of the JIT culture. Most recently, we’ve collaborated with San Diego Center for Children to create a bridge for youth from in-care to adulthood. This will include a life planning app that the youth will own, as well as Lived Experience Coaches to help guide them. To view our list of partners and collaborators, click here.

How do youth find Just in Time?

By word-of-mouth (siblings and friends) and also by case managers, social workers and court advocates. JIT also reaches out to schools, community colleges and four-year universities, plus youth organizations such as Voices for Children and San Pasqual Academy. We also actively seek public relations and media opportunities to share our mission on a broader scale.

What is your budget?

The budget for FY 2020 is about $4 million, including in-kind donations such as home furnishings. The percentage that goes directly toward Youth Services is 70%.

How is Just in Time funded?

Individual donations, foundations, corporations, civic/faith organizations, and our annual Walk the Talk celebration and fundraiser in March. The only government funding we receive (about 3%) is from the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

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).

What do you need?

There are all kinds of ways to engage in Just in Time. If you have interest in volunteering, you start by attending a Volunteer Orientation. We have a role that works for just about everyone’s schedule, interest and availability. You can sign up on our website or give us your contact information and we’ll have someone contact you. We always appreciate financial support, too, which can be a monthly investment or a one-time contribution online or by check. We also accept in-kind donations of items such as gently-used furniture and new household supplies.

How can I get involved?

We’d love for you to get involved as a volunteer and as an investor. Just let one of us know if you’re interested and we’ll have someone follow up with you. You can also view volunteer opportunities here or make an investment online at by clicking here.

When did Just in Time begin?

In 2003. Child advocacy attorney Jeanette Day saw that youth were leaving foster care with subsidized housing but no furnishings. She recruited her friends Diane Cox, Louarn Sorkin and others to start collecting gently used furniture. Over time, more services were added; today JIT offers a comprehensive array of services. Just in Time obtained 501(c)3 nonprofit status in July 2006 (EIN#: 20-5448416).

What is Just in Time doing to address ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) which have been proven to cause major physical and mental health issues for foster youth?

JIT staff and participants have created Rise to Resilience, a new service that educates about ACEs and offers seven strategies to mitigate the toxic stress of ACEs: nutrition, exercise, mindfulness, sleep, healthy relationships, guided self-exploration for healing, and play.

How many JIT staff are there?

28 staff in roles including Youth Services, Volunteer Services and Development.

How many youth leave foster care each year?

There are no reliable statistics on this, as youth can emancipate from care at different ages. We estimate 300 youth leave foster care per year in San Diego County. JIT serves youth who have spent ANY TIME in foster care, not just those who stay in foster care until the age of emancipation.

What are your programs?

We call them services rather than programs because everything we offer is impact-driven and customized to meet the needs of the individual. Our services intend to meet the critical needs a healthy family would typically provide/address, and include: Basic Needs (emergency/foundational financial support), My First Home (furnishing and moving into first apartments), Changing Lanes/Auto Access (attaining driver’s licenses and reliable transportation), Financial Fitness and Fin Fit 101 (financial literacy and establishing savings), Career Horizons (professional and personal development through a network of women), Bridges to Success (professional and personal development through a brotherhood of men), College Bound/Learning to Succeed/Master Your Dream (educational support for college and beyond), Pathways to Financial Power (work readiness, career development and smart money management) and Rise to Resilience (health, well-being and addressing toxic stress).