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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Doors Of Change, Photocharity, DBA

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Youth Development

Mission: Solving Youth Homelessness through empowerment and self-sufficiency. We offer a safe and supportive environment to come and create music and art, without judgement or criticism.

Results: Seen over 1700 homeless youth ages 12-24 in our Free Music & Art class in Ocean Beach. Seen over 1800 youth in outreach (2x/week) Provide Social Services which includes; ID's, birth certificates, bus passes, help with resume and job applications, Medi-Cal., Dental and Vision, referrals for shelter, housing.

Target demographics: Homeless and disadvantaged youth ages 12 - 24 years old.

Direct beneficiaries per year: More than 1,700 youth have participated in our Music & Art program, more than 250 have earned instruments and art supplies.

Geographic areas served: San Diego, Ocean Beach area, helping homeless youth ages 12 - 24 years old.

Programs: Our Free Music & Art program which is a weekly Sunday and Thursday event. We provide free music and art lessons, dinner, clothing, shoes, hygiene and social services. The music program includes music mentorship and lessons in guitar, ukulele, keyboard, drums, violin and mandolin. Instruments and art supplies are earned after attending 6 classes

Community Stories

64 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

I’ve been on the board for the last year and I am continually inspired by the great people involved with Doors of Change. DOC is actually getting homeless youth off of the street to live fulfilling and productive lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer to cook Sunday dinners at Doors of Change and I have never met such a hardworking, caring team that builds a sense of community and family! I love being a volunteer and being a part of Doors of Change

Lauren B.9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A wonderful nonprofit serving homeless youth through music and art outreach!

Donor

Rating: 5

What is a better mission and calling than to help kids in need at the highest risk to learn and trust providing them with safe access to services and opportunities they need to grow and thrive? That is what Doors of Change humbly does day in day out

Volunteer

Rating: 5

DOC gives homeless youths an opportunity to own and to learn to play an instrument and/or to learn art, such as painting or making jewelry. This not only help gives them a piece of self value but also a means to earn money. It is a unique program that truly benefits the youth in many ways.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a recent retiree, one of my goals was to get involved in giving back to the community. Through a local rotary club, I became aware of the Doors of Change organization. The premise of the organization was presented in a heartfelt manner and I decided to join the organization as a board member. There are many worthy organizations that support people in need. What I truly like about doors of Change is their understanding of how to be most effective to help homeless young adults . The well-thought approach is to build trust, initially through music and arts opportunities. This leads to further engagement and the young adults asking for help. What makes this work is the fact that all involved share a passion to help those in need. It's easy to have core values but they must be lived from the top down to be effective in any organization. The Doors of Change has this passion and this is why I enjoy being involved.

Linda Trainor C.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Best Non-Profit. Doors of Change is truly a gift to San Diego Homeless youths.
SO proud of the tireless, endless work of this organization.

Ali L.1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I recently joined the Board of Doors of Change. I have had the opportunity to go on outreach with our program director and meet the wonderful Youth that is living on the streets today. It is heartbreaking to hear their stories and attest to the challenges they face simply to survive on a daily basis. Taking music and art to the streets, DOC implements a wonderful program that provides these Youth with hope, help, resources and love. Many youth have completely transformed their lives with the help of DOC and today are proud college graduates and productive members of our society.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering with Doors of Change as an art teacher in December of 2017. From the start, I immediately felt like part of the family. Everyone within our organization shares a common goal and true passion for helping the homeless youth to succeed. Not only was I amazed at the welcoming nature of the organization, but I was also drawn to the creativity of the youth that attends every Sunday and Thursday. I feel honored to have shared creative expression and mentored so many bright minds. The youth are willing to learn and open to learning how artistic expression can help them decompress from the chaos of their everyday life but also provide a pathway towards a new start. Some have told me that they are artists, others have explained that they have never been drawn to art. I've heard "but I'm not an artist" more times than I can count, but once they sit down and engage with us in a safe space, it's amazing the effort and beauty that can be created. When we're brought together at the art table, in some strange way we make little bits of magic happen. Whether it's reigniting a student's passion for painting that they lost when they were a child, Or seeing a student's face light up when they finish making a jewelry wrap that they didn't think they could complete on their own. It has been a joy to witness students grow and open up with each passing week. Some youth are more reluctant to express themselves, the one lesson I always encourage the youth to take away from the art table and back into their reality is just simply to try and give it your best effort. Through learning an instrument or teaching art we are encouraging self-sufficiency and effort that they can take with them into their everyday lives. The rewarding aspects of volunteering with Doors of Change come from the good days and the bad, we try to be there for the youth when they need us most. We are a shoulder to cry on, a bus pass to get to a job interview, a train ticket to see a family member who is in poor health, a counselor to begin a journey back to college, a resource to print posters to find a lost animal, a connection to California Conservation Corps to earn money and start fresh. We are that and so much more. Yes, we provide laundry, fresh clothes, toiletries, and a meal but we also provide hope for a better life. Being a volunteer with this organization has been one of the most incredible experiences. I'm so proud of what we have done and I am excited for what the future may bring for the program and our students!

WyattB

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

What makes Doors of Change stand out is the way the music and art program garners trust with homeless youth. Without trust, a homeless youth will not take the next steps necessary to change their lives and seek the help they need.

I have been following the successes of past program participants and have been floored by the impact Doors of Change has had on the lives of so many.

Kudos to Doors of Change and the amazing staff of volunteers and staff who truly seek to make a lasting difference in the life of a youth who has lost their way and feels they "just don't fit in" in this world. Thank you Doors of Change staff for giving so many youth a voice.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with Doors Of Change for almost one year. I help with the art program. I am so impressed with the unconditional kindness and support given to those youth who need a place to feel safe and trusting. It's so great to see the artistic and musical talent that many of these youth have and where they can express themselves in a supportive and welcoming way. Doors of Change is a very organized, committed non-profit program providing a vital public service to an otherwise neglected segment of the population. Thank you for your dedication and love.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered as a music instructor with Doors of Change for almost four years. Each Sunday is a new experience that I look forward to all week. I get to spend time teaching music to, and learning from, the homeless youth who live in Ocean Beach, where I've lived since 1992. Before volunteering and meeting Jeffrey, I was confused about the "homeless problem" in OB. Now, after meeting hundreds of new friends, I'm convinced that the time we spend together week after week is healing, and really helps these often misunderstood kids to feel like they belong.
I've personally helped two young men find housing that got them off the street. One opened his own business and is doing quite well.
Each week I feel like I receive more than I give. It's a wonderful place, full of love and acceptance. OB is fortunate to have Doors of Change!

Donor

Rating: 5

I don't believe many people realize that San Diego is 4th in the USA for youth homelessness! The work accomplished by Doors of Change, under it's founder, Jeffrey Sitcov, is amazing. As a public educator in San Diego County, I had first hand experience with our homeless youth and know how very difficult it is to build trust with homeless young people. I personally joined Jeffrey and his team during one of the evening outreach trips. We combed the beach, caves, streets and I helped the team as they spoke to the youth and offered supplies, food, blankets, etc. and a message....they don't have to be alone; there is help. Since that time, I have attended fundraisers, observed the "Taking Music and Art to the Streets" program and recognize the enormous value of Doors of Change. Donations help these kids directly!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I had been witness of the wonderful work that DOC do with youth on the community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been teaching violin every Sunday at Doors of Change for about four years now. I've been thrilled to give away dozens of violins to my students who return for at least six lessons. One of the most gratifying things to me is when students I haven't seen for a while come back, often excited to show me how they've progressed on their instrument since I last saw them. In fact, this happened just last week. A student who I hadn't seen in over a year returned, and I was very impressed that she had clearly continued to improve her playing since we last worked together. She also told me that she had been taking classes in permaculture (interesting profession--look it up!) and as soon as her life is completely in order, she would like to come back and teach music with Doors of Change. Talk about gratification!
The bottom line for me is that the program is so much more than music. It's the magic of making connections with these young people. If they don't have enough confidence-building opportunities in their everyday lives, they can develop those with us. We've seen this again and again, and it's what makes the whole Doors of Change experience worth it, both for the young people we cater to, as well as the volunteers.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Doors of Change/Photocharity for 5 years now, and this is an amazing charity. You will be hard-pressed to find an organization that is more dedicated to its recipients than DOC. The Founder, Jeffrey Sitcov, is passionate about helping homeless youth. He has a heart for helping these young men and women who often have never had a trustworthy adult in their lives. He is able to earn their trust through music, art, food, and time and helps those who want to help themselves. He is truly using his God-given talents and purpose in all he does!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The "Taking Music and Arts to the Streets" program at Doors of Change has served homeless youth for years. The compassion, love and respect that is shown builds a bond of trust that many of these kids have never known. Not only do they learn how to play music...but every year more services have been added like haircuts, yoga and most importantly a gateway to other services that can get them off the streets permanently. These youth have bright futures ahead of them and Doors of Change has a unique nurturing program that reaches out and gets results.....

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an amazing charity that helps homeless youth....I have experienced the outreach and the award winning "Taking Music and Arts to the Streets" programs. These youth are given the opportunity to learn a musical instrument and have the chance to earn one of their choice. This amazing program builds trust with these youth and gives them the opportunity to be placed in the housing program to help permanently solve their homelessness. Doors of Change is an amazing non-profit that can help change the lives of so many young people who have just started on their life journey.

Sarah Mj J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with Doors of Change is the highlight of my week. I love doing art, yoga, and meditation with the participants. It's such a rewarding experience for me to be of service in my community through this non-profit. Not only are the founder and program director amazing individuals, but they are there helping others every chance they can. Seeing the uplifted spirits of the youth after they create art & make music and sharing in their successes as they accomplish goals on their journey to get ahead in life, is something one cannot put a price on. This program provides a safe space for disadvantaged youth to refresh, recharge, and refocus themselves, as well as access to resources and support in a very creative and fun environment. I love it!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It’s so refreshing to be a part of an opportunity to embrace and encourage youth in transit and to show them how much that are valued. JoAnn snd those who support the work at Doors of Change are a blessing to the many youth who benefit from music lessons and the arts offered to them. Along with care kits, clothing and hot meals donated to and shared at Doors of Change, youth are welcomed with warmth and personal support. Our organization, Cornerstone Koenonia Connections enjoys working with Doors of Change and preparing home cooked meals by Pastor Thomas & Dr. Ethel Sims. We look forward to strengthening volunteer networks for youth in Ocean Beach and other at risk populations throughout San Diego.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In the couple of times that I have been so fortunate to help out at Doors of Change, I was instantly exposed to a loving, caring, and supportive environment. The staff were all there because they genuinely wanted to and the youth were all incredibly respectful and a true joy to be around. Working to provide individuals with practical skills that likewise hold personal value, DOC cares about making this program a success for all people that come in.