Home Start Helping Vulnerable Children and Families Devastated by COVID-19

Sarah at a home start food distrribution

Never before in Home Start’s 48-year history have so many vulnerable San Diego children and their families been counting on their programs for support. Before the pandemic, their staff was already serving on the front lines to prevent child abuse and neglect by strengthening families and their communities. Now, these same families are facing even more challenges. Together we can help them through this crisis.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in late March, Home Start has continued to provide life-changing services in seven core program areas, including:

  • Rental Assistance/Housing: Home Start has provided 45 households so far with rental assistance to ensure these families remain safe and housed. And they have served 82 additional individuals experiencing homelessness with case management, food, stabilization resources, and hotel vouchers.
    “They helped my family and myself get into a home. We were homeless due to my husband’s health issues and were struggling for years. We are now in our own home, and Home Start continues to help my husband, 12 year-old daughter and I with resources to get through the epidemic.” 
  • Family Support: In late July, their First 5 First Steps (F5FS) program staff hosted a special drive-thru graduation for 20 families. F5FS helps nurture the development of healthy relationships between parent and child, enhances parent knowledge about the growth and development of their child, and supports positive parenting and stress reduction practices.
    “I loved the program and was thankful for the services offered. My daughter, Nina* looked forward to the visits and the help provided! It made me feel comfortable while Nina was growing up. As a new parent, I didn’t know what was normal or if she was developing well, and all the info given made me secure as a new mom that my daughter was developing healthy.”
  • Food Distribution: Home Start is now providing 1,000 meals a week throughout Central and East San Diego County to hungry families and individuals, thanks to our partnership with the Lucky Duck Foundation.
    “In the first few months of passing out food, we have connected 9 people so far to different housing programs, ensuring they can escape life on the streets and stay safe in their own homes during the pandemic.”

With the increased demand to assist so many San Diegans during COVID-19, please help these children and families by participating in the 13th Annual Hallo-Wine Fall Festival. Join us from the comfort of your own home on Saturday, October 24th. Enjoy a delicious selection of food samples, along with wine, cider, spirits, and beer tastings provided in advance in a sampling box. Then tune in online to hear representatives from our sampled items talk more about their delicious products. A Home Start client will also share their story of how caring partners like you have helped them.

Purchase your sample boxes today at www.hallowine.org. Together, even while facing the pandemic, we can achieve our vision for every child in San Diego to have a safe, stable, and nurturing home.

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Esteban Villanueva