[The Big Picture]

New Beginnings

As we enter our new fiscal year, we’ll share the successes of the past year and celebrate new beginnings within the JIT community.

With this new year comes new chances to thrive, and an abundance of opportunities for youth to become Confident, Capable and Connected!

We hope you enjoy this week’s stories. We can’t wait to make more memories with our Caring Community in the months to come!


July 22, 2021

July 30: Fishing Day

July 31: Coach Approach Practice

August 12: Foster Alumni and Youth Community Empowerment Subcommittee Meeting

August 12: Coach Approach Training

August 19: New Volunteer Info Session

“We’re Still Here.”

That was our mantra during this past COVID-impacted year, reflecting our fierce commitment to remain a reliable community of support for the young people we serve.  It was a promise we were confident we could fulfill through innovation, passion, and faith in our capacity to leverage our individual strengths and shared experiences.

The result was a year-to-year increase from 826 youth served the previous year, to 1,588 individual youth who connected to Just in Time this past July-June for the resources, relationships, and reliable network they needed to navigate the uncertainty of the pandemic. That’s a 92% increase that includes 154 new participants and 76 Alumni.

These numbers may sound impressive but we also know the inspiring participant stories those numbers represent. Stories that range from My First Home assists to home buying capacity building through Financial Fitness, passing a driving permit test to earning a post-graduate degree, exploring employment options through NEXTjobs to self-exploration and healing with Rise to Resilience.

As we look ahead, we’ll continue to share those empowerment stories in our Weekly Wrap-Up so we can celebrate our collective intention to help change the world, one youth at a time. 

-Don Wells, Chief Empowerment Officer


JIT staff and alumni Simone and James Hidds-Monroe have purchased their first home! They attribute much of the financial confidence and skills required to get their home loan to JIT’s Financial Fitness service.

Several JIT community members played an integral part of this opportunity for Simone and James including JIT participant Sal Terrones who served as their realtor, JIT Board Chair Brad Livingston, who supported their loan through RWM Home Loans, Steven Silva who served as a consistent support as their Financial Fitness Coordinator, and their dedicated Asset Coaches, Chris Burr and Chris Lotz! 

“I was proud that I was considered trustworthy with money,” said James, “When we applied for our home loan, our credit scores were great. 

“I don’t want people to think, ‘James and Simone made it,’” shared Simone. “Any youth in Financial Fitness can do this. It takes a lot of time, practice, conversations, and errors, but having a coach to challenge your thoughts and empower you to make choices true to yourself about your money… this is the JIT community at its best.”

Congratulations on this huge milestone, Simone and James!


Coming Home: Kayla’s Story

by Rachel Trujillo, JIT STaff

Kayla connected with the Just in Time community in 2018, but soon moved to Hawaii.

Recently, Kayla’s husband was stationed in San Diego and she had the chance to return. Due to an unhappy living situation, Kayla left Hawaii quickly, bringing very few belongings back to San Diego. But she was immediately greeted with support from her JIT community in the form of a My First Home shopping day for the couple’s new housing.

Since Kayla left most of her belongings behind, the house was almost completely bare. Now, with the addition of several new and gently used items from our My First Home Distribution Center, it’s beginning to feel more like home!

Kayla received everything from a couch set, queen bed, bookcase, nightstand, and desk, to kitchenware, cleaning supplies, and toiletries. She even got a few items for entertaining and can’t wait to welcome guests into her new home!
The My First Home moving team helped get everything to Kayla’s house and set everything up – something that’s especially helpful since she’s pregnant with twins.

Kayla expressed her gratitude throughout the whole My First Home process and shared that she can’t wait for her husband to come home and see everything! She’s looking forward to this fresh start and building a life with her family in their new home.


Rise to Resilience: REset on Relationships

by Esperanza Tapia, JIT support

Rise to Resilience, our health, wellness, and healing service, is currently exploring participants’ identities through relationships with others and their community during the Healthy Relationships series. For many, this includes looking at relationships through new perspectives and resetting boundaries.

Participant Athina expressed she was most interested in the Healthy Relationships series due to her conflict with relationships and struggle to maintain healthy boundaries. She is looking forward to the series and understanding the relationships in her life further.

During the most recent workshop, Athina was able to realize that a relationship that is healthy can also be unhealthy and emotionally draining. She said “The workshop helped me reflect on how I was raised and put into perspective the reality and expectations of each of the relationships.” She is looking forward to completing the series and learning how to further define and cultivate healthy relationships.