Finding Home: Selena’s story

by Rachel Trujillo, JIT STaff

Growing up, Selena’s living situation was highly unstable. With eight siblings and a single mom, her family bounced around constantly. They lived with family, friends, in motels, in shelters, in Section 8 housing, and more. The instability continued when Selena entered foster care. She lived in group homes and several foster placements before finding loving foster parents at 15.

As an adult, her pattern of impermanence continued, including living in the dorms at Cal State San Marcos and in temporary YMCA housing. “I just naturally continued to move a lot – because I feel like I was just used to that flow of my life,” Selena shared.

Recently, she and her partner set out to break the pattern, achieving the milestone of getting their first apartment together.

One challenge remained, though: with all the instability Selena experienced, she didn’t have furniture or essentials of her own so the apartment was far from a welcoming home. Luckily, Selena knew her Just in Time community was behind her!  

“I’ve been a part of Just in Time ever since I was an undergrad student my freshman year as part of the College Bound program. It’s just been such a good community and support system overall.”

Selena applied for JIT’s My First Home service and was approved for her very own shopping day at JIT’s My First Home Distribution Center. There, she was paired with a volunteer shopper who helped her pick out everything she needed to transform her empty apartment into a warm safe haven. Together they picked out basics like cleaning supplies, kitchenware, and towels and bigger items like furniture and a brand-new bed. JIT’s moving team even helped her get everything into her apartment and set up!

Selena shared, “This experience with My First Home was such a blessing. It was just a great experience being able to have fun and shop around and get all the cool things for my new place! Just in Time has done so much to make me feel so special and so celebrated, and so loved and supported. I’m so excited and want to say thank you so much to anyone who has supported or donated to this program. It has really allowed me to create something for myself, to make me feel very loved in what I have. And I’m just so grateful for it all.”