JIT OFFICE: 619-770-1850 | YOUTH SERVICES: 760-505-6647 | NORTH COUNTY: 619-218-8566 | jit@jitfosteryouth.org

Basic Needs

Emergency Assistance
Creating a Foundation
Healthy Living

Basic Needs

Are you experiencing an emergency? Basic Needs provides critical financial support in emergency situations, including rent, food, transportation and other assistance to transitioning foster youth and also immunizes young people against debilitating stress, unhealthy physical habits, and exploitation by providing essential support that takes them out of survival mode.

Workshops with useful information on emotional, physical, sexual and mental wellness combined with connections to staff and individual resources make hopeful futures possible and encourage self-confidence and sense of personal value.

Healthy Practices

Transition age foster youth are highly vulnerable as they leave foster care. For example, Guidance to States and Services on Addressing Human Trafficking of Children and Youth in the United States describes how sex traffickers target those who have unstable lives, have been abused, neglected or exploited already. A recent survey in LA revealed that 59 percent of the 174 children arrested for prostitution were in the foster care system.

Self-esteem, self-care and confidence can be a powerful foundation to offset the obstacle these young people face. Our research revealed JIT participants demonstrated average levels of global self-confidence, although there were specific items that identified concerns for a significant portion of the population surveyed. Specifically, 29% of participants either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “I wish I had more respect for myself.” 27% of participants either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “At times, I feel like I am no good at all.” Finally, 22% of participants either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “I certainly feel useless at times.”

JIT collaborates with referring social service agencies, including case workers and transition age youth programs, as well as subject matter experts to present interactive workshops with empowering curriculum throughout the year in four core subject areas:


1.Emotional Health – Self-care, self-esteem, healthy relationships

2. Mental Health – Mental health/stress management

3. Sexual Health – Pregnancy prevention, safety/health related behaviors

4. Physical Health – Nutrition, fitness, substance abuse, health maintenance

Learn More

How It Works

Referral: JIT relies on referrals from trusted sources including San Diego County Child Welfare Services, Independent Living Skills Providers, programs specializing in housing such as the HOME Program, Transitional Housing and Transitional Living Programs, and many other organizations and agencies in San Diego serving current and former foster youth. Clients can apply through self-referral or referrals from collaborating programs.Processing: Program staff personally meet applicants, identify and assess needs, and assist with purchasing the essentials to resolve the immediate financial emergency. Staff and volunteers also provide one-on-one advice to participants by sitting down and outlining a budget and financial plan.Participation in Other JIT Programs: Youth are given an overview of all JIT programs and may apply for other services. 

Evaluation: Follow-up information is solicited from participants annually via an online survey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I apply for Basic Needs?

A: Apply by using our online application system.  Remember to fill out the “Intake Application” before applying for any JIT services.

Q: If I applied for Basic Needs last year, is my previous application still valid or do I have to apply again?

A: Youth must apply each time for Basic Needs because circumstances, eligibility, contact information, employment and educational progress, and needs may be different. Use your previous login information if you have filled out a request before.

Q: What are the requirements for help?

A: Applicants must be former foster youth, between 18-26 years old, and working or attending school or demonstrating progress toward obtaining employment or school enrollment.

Q: Will I need to provide any paperwork?

A: Applicants may be asked to provide verification of being in foster care as a child; invoices, bills, or contracts; pay stubs or proof of enrollment in school.  On occasion, staff may ask for other documentation to process an application.

Q: How long until I receive notification from JIT?

A: Participants will receive a phone or email from Program Staff no later than 72 hours.

Q: What if I need help within 24 hours?

A: Basic Needs is our most popular program and our staff review applications daily.  JIT provides more than 300 assists each year to participants in need.  We make an effort to contact youth who are experiencing an emergency such as a broken-down vehicle as quickly as possible.  If you are experiencing an emergency, it is best to contact our office and leave a message after you apply for help.

Q:  What if I apply and do not receive a phone call or email within 72 hours?

A: Staff make every effort to contact applicants via telephone or email.  If you have not heard from a JIT member, please call 760-505-6647.  Sometimes applicants’ telephone numbers are out of minutes when staff make an attempt to call.

Q:  What happens if my application is approved?

A: Once Program Staff have approved a request, we will set up an appointment for you to come into our office to pick up resources and receive one-on-one support from a volunteer or staff member.  Applicants are required to return a receipt within 15 days of receiving a resource.

Q:  Do I have to come to the office to receive help?

A: Our mission is to provide participants with resources and opportunities to connect with caring adults, and we can best facilitate this process by getting to know you in person. In addition, we have experienced resources getting lost in the mail; this is why we prefer that applicants come into our office to pick up a check, bus pass or gift card.

Q:  What happens if my application is denied?

A: Program staff will evaluate each application individually and provide an explanation after processing.  Youth may apply for program services in the future unless indicated otherwise by staff.

Q:  Whom do I contact for more information?

A: Anthony Mota  Phone: 619-677-2122  Email: anthony@jitfosteryouth.org   OR   Janeth Gonzalez Phone: 619-677-3484 Email: janeth@jitfosteryouth.org

Q:  Can I send a note of thanks?

A: Absolutely!  We encourage each and every participant to write a hand-written thank you to our donors and volunteers.  JIT is a small organization and, without the support of members in the community, we would be unable to provide furnishings for our young people!  Contact our office so we can help facilitate.


Just in Time’s impact comes from a Theory of Change based on more than a decade of hands-on experience and our research-based approach to developing services that “move the needle” for the youth we serve. 

The effectiveness of JIT’s services is evaluated in two ways – one for short-term outcomes that meet immediate needs and another for long term impact toward our ultimate goal.  In FY2015, the immediate outcomes focus of Basic Needs/Healthy Practices to stabilize challenging circumstances and overcome unexpected obstacles translated into 595 distributions of emergency assistance including rent payments/deposits, food cards, bus passes, and car repairs.  It also meant over 200 connections to additional resources that support physical, emotional and sexual health and 45% of Basic Needs participants becoming involved in other JIT services.

YS - Hierarchy of Needs


  Just In Time is Proud to have these Basic Needs and Healthy Practices Partners:

Basic Needs and Healthy Practices

In Their Own Words

Brittany“Just in Time was there for me no matter what. They offered to help me and DID help me on many occasions—that’s what I love about it and the people. They care when it feels like no one else is caring and they have made a huge impact on my life.” 


“Just in Time has made an impact on my life because they were there for me when no one else was. When I say no one, I mean family. A lot of people I know have that family support, but I did not. So,  Just in Time, I just want to say thank you for making a big difference in my life.”


“You are providing help where the system and our parents have failed us. The help you provided allowed me to feel like a person, gave me a home, and offered me support throughout my college career. Support that most people get from a family. Your programs improve the lives of foster youth by providing supportive services and by filling voids that others overlook. Thank You”.

























Thank You To Our Major Investors


Alliance Healthcare Foundation

Lily Lai Foundation

Alethea Capital Management LLC

Change a Life

In ‘n Out Burger Foundation

Samuel H. French and Katherine Weaver French Fund

John Krakauer Charitable Trust

Cushman Foundation

Dorothy Darling, RScP

Kathy & Dan Roberts

Donald C. & Elizabeth M. Dickinson Foundation