My First Home

My First Home transforms empty apartments into safe, stable and supportive places to live with new and gently-used furnishings and home goods from our caring community.
This helps the youth we serve establish a fundamental first step toward building a secure future.

How Does It Work?

Any youth who qualifies for My First Home is invited to a shopping day at our My First Home Distribution Center, where they pair up with a volunteer shopper to choose the items needed to turn their apartment into a welcoming, comfortable place to call home. Our Distribution Center is stocked with everything needed to create a firm foundation, from gently-used furniture and décor to new beds, appliances and cleaning supplies. Then, volunteer movers assist participants in transporting the items to the youth’s apartment and setting everything up. Volunteers from our community are also able to offer guidance on smart purchasing and home expenses moving forward.

Examples of items offered at our Distribution Center include dressers, night stands, sofas and loveseats, tables, chairs, desks, new towel sets, new silverware sets, new dishware sets, new glassware sets, new pots and pans, new comforters and sheet sets, new pillows, lamps, new vacuums, new microwaves, new toasters, artwork, rugs, new cleaning supplies and much, much more. For essential items that are not readily available at our Distribution Center, items can be delivered to youth’s homes or gift cards may be offered to shop with a volunteer at a local store.


To participate in My First Home, you must:

  • Complete our new youth orientation
  • Have housing established
  • Be enrolled in school or working


How Do I Join?

My First Home shopping days are typically held one to two times a month and youth can sign up at any time. We also accept referrals from trusted sources including San Diego County Child Welfare Services, independent living skills providers, programs specializing in housing such as the HOME Program, and many other organizations and agencies in San Diego serving current and former foster youth.
Apply for My First Home Now


Changing Lanes helps transition age foster youth obtain driver’s permits and licenses, removing barriers they may face by providing financial support, transportation to the DMV, behind-the-wheel practice and more.

How Does It Work?

Changing Lanes provides youth with the resources and connections needed to obtain their driver’s permits and licenses. For permits, this includes volunteer time to help study and provide transportation to the DMV to take written tests. For those seeking their license, we pay for six hours of behind-the-wheel practice and support for the DMV road test. Plus, since we partner with Allstate Driving School, vehicles are provided to use for the road test – no need to have access to one! Changing Lanes is offered to youth at their own pace, and optional study sessions are available on a weekly basis.


Changing Lanes is open to all JIT participants. You simply need to complete your new youth orientation in order to apply.

How Do I Join?

Changing Lanes is offered year-round, and participants are welcome to join at any time and complete it at their own pace. If you’re interested, simply contact our Youth Services team.
Click here to apply.


Auto Access helps youth obtain their own transportation so they do not have to rely on public transit or ride sharing in their day-to-day lives. Owning a reliable vehicle can help youth in many ways, including more easily getting to and from school and/or work, increasing access to job opportunities, and opening up time that would typically be spent on public transportation to instead focus on more important things.

How Does It Work?

Auto Access helps participants that are unable to get financing on their own or face very high interest rates when applying for an auto loan themselves. JIT will guarantee a low interest auto bank loan to purchase a car – participants simply have to make their monthly payments!

Auto Access also helps participants avoid cash purchases as the only option to obtain a car. Cars sold for cash only tend to be older and less reliable, and are more likely to be scams for buyers who are less knowledgeable.


To participate in Auto Access, you must:

  • Have a valid driver’s license
  • Have stable housing
  • Be employed
  • Provide a current budget of your finances
  • Have a minimum of $1,000 saved for a down payment
  • Tip: If you’re worried about your ability to save money, be sure to check out Fin Fit 101

How Do I Join?

Participants can become a part of Auto Access at any time. Contact our Youth Services team to learn more.


The Horizons House offers select female JIT participants an affordable and empowering housing option. Fully furnished and located in a beautiful two-story home in La Mesa, the Horizons House is much more than a stable place to live; it’s a “life launch” service that offers a supportive female community, plus activities and tools to establish greater self-sufficiency.

How Does It Work?

Horizons House participants are empowered as they work toward their desired goals supported by a safe and affordable place to live, consistent coaching, and a trusting community of motivated female peers. They are challenged to grow in self-leadership, responsibility, and collaboration by respecting the values of the house, obtaining good stewarding resources, and fulfilling the requirements of house membership.

Ladies who live in Horizons House work toward many goals including: maintaining a budget; increasing savings and assets; reducing debt; establishing consistent connections to a JIT Life Coach and lasting community; developing the ability to successfully navigate life’s challenges, setbacks and opportunities; and establishing good personal habits that foster positive physical, mental and emotional health. Upon completion of a 1-year+ leasing agreement, Horizons House residents are also eligible for a stipend of up to $1,500 to help them secure their next home.


To apply to live in the Horizons House, you must:

  • Be actively engaged in the JIT community
  • Have consistent income and be working or going to school full-time
  • Be able to pay a $500 security deposit and monthly rent
  • Be willing to establish SMART goals, work with a provided life coach at least once per month, attend monthly events, and contribute to household chores
  • Sign a Shared Living Agreement and lease agreement that include basic house rules and requirements
  • Not have children or pets who need to live with you

How Do I Join?

Horizons House can accommodate multiple women, with both shared room and single room options that include private bathrooms and walk-in closets. Availability is based on when there are openings in the house, but inquiries are welcome at any time and we will work to accommodate requests from young ladies who demonstrate a strong commitment to the JIT community. Contact us today to learn more.