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Every young person needs a little help becoming an adult.

Remember when you started college and your parents paid tuition or helped you buy a car?

Remember when you couldn’t quite make rent and your mom and dad fronted you the cash?

These challenges are ordinary bumps in the road for most of us when we have a family on our side. However, more than 300 foster teens are emancipated every year in San Diego without this kind of support. In many cases, they’re suddenly on their own.

The odds are against them:
-Nearly half of former foster youth become homeless within 18 months
-60 percent are destitute, earning at or below $6,000 per year
-Less than 3 percent will graduate from college
-25 percent will end up in prison within two years of emancipation

Meeting a need with love and support

These young adults need help and guidance.

So these three women did something about it.

Jeanette Day, Diane Cox and Louarn Sorkin (from left to right) joined forces to form Just in Time for Foster Youth in 2002 as an auxiliary of the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation. It’s now an independent nonprofit organization that helps foster youth move into adulthood by connecting them with the proper resources and the right people.

Just in Time’s Volunteer Coordinator Jamie Inarda was hooked after her first volunteer experience.

Don’t know any transitioning foster youth?

They look like this:

Just in Timer Nathaniel poses on Move-In Day

And this:

And this is how overcome with emotion they are after someone gives them a hand decorating their apartment.

It’s not complicated to help these kids.

You don’t need a degree in social work. You don’t need a lot of money. You just need to be a friend. Just in Time depends on a community of volunteers who help these young people handle basic activities like managing their bank accounts, picking out car insurance and buying household supplies.

Like this:

Every second Saturday of the month, volunteers help three to four foster teens move into their new homes.

This volunteer helps a College Bound student pick up her new laptop and printer before heading off to show for school and dorm supplies.

These volunteer Champions create an “environment of success” for young men looking for role models and guidance as they build productive lives.

This volunteer acts as a personal shopper for this Just in Timer’s shopping trip for work attire.

You can get involved too!

Here are some of the ways you can help:

Asset advisers: Give financial advice to these young adults. They need advisers with financial backgrounds to help with important decisions such as purchasing a car, finding the right health care plan or simply budgeting.

Project recruiters: Lend a hand wherever help is needed. You can help update the website, organize an event or assist with office work.

Career Coaches/“Bridge champions”: Provide career advice, encouragement and guidance for these young men and women.

My First Home Guides: Have an SUV or truck? This opportunity is for you! Provide assistance in transitioning foster youth into their first home. Every second Saturday of the month, a select few foster youth need assistance in moving into their homes as well as shopping for household essentials.

Faculty/Tutors: Mentor students who need help in a particular subject, while encouraging and helping them pursue a higher education.

If you have a little extra time for Just in Time, visit their website to learn more about the volunteer opportunities and see if something jumps out at you.

This is how you’ll feel afterward.

Visit jitfosteryouth.org or call 619-683-9340 to sign-up.

Watch this Video to Meet More Foster Youth

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