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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Just in Time for Foster Youth

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Just in Time provides transitioning foster youth with opportunities for self-sufficiency through emergency support, essential resources, and caring personal guidance at critical junctures on their path to independence.

Results: Assisting over 400 youth each year, Just In Time For Foster Youth's current focus is on being measurable, sustainable, and replicable.

Target demographics: Transitioning Foster Youth ages 18-26

Programs: My First Home Emergency/Basic Needs Financial Fitness College Bound Career Bound

Community Stories

21 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

Just in Time is an extraordinary organization and a respected leader in making a positive differences in the lives of transitional age foster youth. As one of the first organizations of its kind to focus on the issues facing transitional age foster youth, the dedicated staff and passionate volunteers are committed to their goal of helping youth feel confident, connected and capable. As a past foster parent myself, I understand how very important this goal is. Through a continuum of services that provide for basic needs, financial education and savings, career development assistance, college support, mentoring and help in furnishing the youth’s first home, youth are provided the relationships and skills to become increasingly independent and successful. And one of the many things that makes this organization so special, is that they honor the youths’ voice in helping guide the organization and in reaching out to other youth. Just in Time makes a powerful difference each and every day through its innovative services, enthusiastic dedication and passionate commitment to foster youth. I am so very proud to be a part of this amazing organization.

James Lepanto
Board Member

Board Member

Rating: 5

Just in Time impacts for Foster youth in many ways. IT provides furnishings for a first home, supplies to youth going away to college, financial education and career assistance. However, the most important aspect of the Just in Time experience is the personal connections formed between the former foster youth and the many dedicated and talented volunteers of Just in Time

Donor

Rating: 5

Just in Time and our organization, San Diego Social Venture Partners, has been working together for about a year and a half. They have been an incredible pleasure to partner with. Just in Time has been a wonderful steward of our investment, and a highly dynamic, impactful and dedicated community resource. We are so proud to be affiliated with them and can't wait to see the future results JIT is bound to realize.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Just In Time serves transitioning foster youth with essential services, and even more importantly, offers deep connection with one or more caring adults. Research shows that this is the most critical gap for kids who've grown up in the child welfare system. Just In Time fills this gap with mentors and role models, often for the first time for youth.

I have worked with them directly and have seen them transform lives over and over again. This organization is doing it right!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

A great organization with highly dedicated staff doing much needed work in the community! What is most inspiring is that they refuse to shy away from big goals and are striving to make sure every foster youth that goes through their programs is prepared through the difficult transition to adulthood. Excellent leadership that isn't afraid to keep evolving as an organization. Excited to see what chapters unfold next!

Advisor

Rating: 5

It has truly been my pleasure to advise and participate with many of the Just in Time activities. They are providing a variety of wonderful and much needed services to a very special population of transitioning foster youth. Their dedication, thoughtful care and strategic program growth has been very inspiring.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Just in Time has been there for me when I had no one else to turn to. Most people turn to their families when there's an emergency - broken bones, stranded vehicles, accidental overspending (we've all been there). Where do you turn when you don't have that traditional family model to rely on? Just in Time. When my car needed new tires so I could make it to work - Just in Time was there to help me pick up the bill. When I ran out of money for food (while supporting myself through college), Just in Time was there to ensure I had what I needed. When I needed assistance for law school applications and, finally, for the deposit to attend the law school of my dreams, it was Just in Time that helped me through.

But the organization is more than just financial support - it's emotional. The community of members at Just in Time provides a support system that many of us never had. Someone to lean on. Someone who understands! There is no number of stars which can do that justice.

I'm graduating from law school this Spring. I could not have done it with out Just in Time.

1 Gretchen M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Just in Time for Foster Youth is a much needed organization with truly phenomenal leadership under Don Wells. I support them as both a volunteer and a donor. My experience has been in their My First Home area as I lead a church ministry group that focuses on foster youth. For Just in Time we provide move-ins for the former foster youth that are moving into their first apartments. I have found the JIT staff to be extremely responsive, personal and professional. They have a "can do" attitude as demonstrated when we were able to get a grant to pay for foster youth to get drivers training lessons. JIT not only made that work but built a new program called Changing Lanes that goes far beyond just helping them get their drivers training done. Our ministry is also sharing the cost of a storage space so that we can increase the furniture donations for the My First Home program. It is working great thanks to Don's "we can make it work" attitude and follow up. He will not only return an email at all hours of day, he and other JIT board members often show up to move-ins to say hi and offer encouragement to the foster youth and other volunteers. This organization does much more for foster youth and is a shining example of what a nonprofit should be!

Advisor

Rating: 5

Just in Time for Tranaitioning Foster Youth s is one of those rare nonprofits that follows advise and has built a strong platform based on identifying outcomes, tracking them and demonstrating their effectiveness. They have become a leader in the field helping thousands of foster children. DIANN and DON have provided fantastic leadership and they are well on the way to SUSTAINABILTY.

Melissa261

Client Served

Rating: 5

JIT helped me gain the support and community I needed to achieve in the 'real world'. The personal guidance I've received through this organization has gone above and beyond; I can truly say I would not be where I am today without them. Just in Time walked with me and gave me the resources and connections to become the thriving, self-sufficient adult I am today. Everyone needs some help to reach their dreams, and I'm so grateful JIT was there to help me out. Just in Time provided me with tools to build my professional and personal development, financial literacy training, resources, and connections to amazing, accomplished community members. I'm so grateful for the critical connections I've received, and am proud to give back to an organization that has given so much to me.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have served as a volunteer in Just In Time's (JIT) Bridges to Success program for three years. And while Bridges to Success is just one of many programs that Just in Time provides for former foster youth, I've personally witnessed the benefits of numerous other JIT programs in the lives of the young men that I interact with. These benefits include assistance with housing, job placement, financial guidance, educational mentoring, and basic needs in times of crisis. I can't say enough for what JIT does for these young men and women and for what they have done for my personal growth as well. Thanks JIT!!!

143Nancie

Client Served

Rating: 5

This non-profit organization has made quite a difference in my life. I have been with them for approximately 6 years since I was emancipated from the foster system at the age of 18. Although I had access to housing, I did not have the financial capability to acquire furniture and other household appliances for my first transitional housing program. Through Just in Time's (JIT) program, My First Home, I was able to eat, sleep, and live more comfortably by receiving a toaster over, blanket and sheets, and household items from them.

At first, I simply utilized their program services for any urgent needs as a result of some obstacles that would occur. However, as time progresses, their employees and volunteers became more personable because they were screened through personal interviews with caring volunteer coordinators or hiring director. I believe it now that when others would mention the executive director's goal to make this organization become more than just a service because everyone connected to this organization eventually establishes a familial connection with one another. Ranging from the recipient to the staff members, everyone is genuinely more connected to one another. Former foster youths such as myself will no longer feel like a number, but instead, a unique individual that is a contributing member to society.

Aside from receiving services from JIT, I have advanced myself to become more involved by volunteering my time to new programs and workshops that the organization strives to create in order to further assist youth towards a successful future.

Along with My First Home, other programs that I have been involved with are:
- My Basic Needs: provided me with emergency funds for important items such as new glasses/contacts, minor car maintenance issues, and gas
- Financial Fitness: helps me to become financially literate in regards to credit, debt, investments, and more - I actually was able to purchase with car with their money matching program
- Career Horizons: pairs with a mentor from the professional field in which I aspire to work in which helps provide more insight as to what the job requires and how to prepare myself overall for future jobs from resume writing to networking.
- and lastly, Leaders Empower All Possibilities (LEAP): as ambassadors to not only represent the organization, but for the youth utilizing the services to share their opinions in order to acquire the services needed for success along with advocating for policy change to extinguish ongoing issues that current and former foster youth continually encounter.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Just it Time (JIT) is beyond amazing! This non profit who aids former foster youth professionally, academically, financially, and with self care. JIT has helped me in numerous situations in which I was unable to do something, whether it be pay an university expense, have a lack of professional attire, or lack financial education. I have never seen a non profit do so much for their participants. It's warmth allows many to feel as though the program is like family.

Donor

Rating: 5

I was introduced to JIT 5 years ago at College Bound. It was an amazing event and the introduction to Jabriel Jordan. I have been Jabriels mentor for the past 5 years and I am very proud to say he graduated college last spring. I could not think of a better organization than JIT.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Just in Time for Foster Youth (JIT) transforms the lives of 18-26 year old transitioning foster youth who otherwise would be without vital resources to become self-sufficient young adults. JIT helps furnish first apartments, materials for continuing their education, matching funds for financial literacy, mentors to help with employment, and volunteers who offer ongoing encouragement and coaching--all toward developing confident, capable, and connected young adults. The only San Diego non-profit of its kind, JIT helped 777 young men and women last year, resulting in higher college enrollment, increased savings, and powerful networks for future success.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a teenager, I did not have the best role models in my life, let alone older adults that I trusted confiding in. Due to this disconnect, I missed out on many learning opportunities such as budgeting and investing in my future. Thanks to Just In Time and their program, Financial Fitness, I was connected with a gentleman named Chris. He coached me through various financial topics: Budgeting, Saving, Investing, Credit, and Needs vs Wants, During the two year participation in the program, I continued implementing my new financial knowledge into my everyday practice. When I first enrolled into the Financial Fitness Program, my credit score was 652, and when I graduated from the program, I increased it to 739. I had a great experience in this program, and I am very thankful for all the guidance I received. But most importantly, I am thankful for the community connections I made which created long lasting relationships.

Review from Guidestar

Advisor

Rating: 5

My work with Just in Time has consisted of strategy sessions and discussions around foster care issues, particularly for youth emancipating from the system. Because of these experiences I can say that JIT staff have the knowledge and the compassion to meet their mission of providing youth with resources and connections to the community, thereby helping the youth to transition successfully to adulthood. Half of the staff are former foster youth themselves, and no one can tell the story better, or understand the issues in a deeper way, than those who have experienced it. It has been, and continues to be, my pleasure to work with Just in Time.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love every experience I've had with this organization! I love the youth as well as the volunteers that have dug in and helped them. Great people...all of them! I have volunteered for "My First Home for the Holidays", "College and Career Bound", and the year-round program, "My First Home". Now, I find myself even more involved serving on the Board of Directors. Helping a youth establish their first home is a happy and emotional experience for everyone involved. Helping a deserving young adult begin or maintain their education/career by giving him/her the tools they need for success (such as, a laptop, printer, welding tools etc) is amazing!! This is little recognized population most of whom are strong and worthy individuals who with a little help and caring will grow into happy, healthy, contributing members of society. They are SO WORTH THE INVESTMENT OF TIME AND ATTENTION. What a feel good!!!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Youth who have spent most of their lives in foster care are "emancipated" when they turn 18. These young men and women are oftentimes left without any resources and are released into their communities. Just In Time For Foster Youth is a life changing and life saving program for these young adults. By providing a number of gap services like housing, help with jobs and finances, Just In Time bridges their transition to their independence. It takes a dedicated group of staff and volunteers to provide these young people with the tools for a better tomorrow. I can not commend enough the efforts of all those who support Just In Time for Foster Youth and their mission .

Diane Cox

Board Member

Rating: 5

When I first realized that foster youth had to learn how to become self-sufficient adults with little or no family support, I was shocked. I remembered how much help I gave to my children in their late teens and early twenties. When I got involved with Just In Time For Foster Youth, I was surprised to see how motivated these youth were and how a little help went a long way! Here we have these youth without resources and a support system and then we have a community of of people with tons of resources and a willingness to help - Just In Time brings them together.