RANCHO SANTA FE — Just in Time for Foster Youth and Humble Designs, which both work with the homeless, will be the recipients of the proceeds from an upcoming auction and sale of household furniture starting the weekend of Jan. 26.
The items, and there are more than 500 of them, include indoor and outdoor furniture, knick-knacks, decorator touches, art, live plants and other accessories that have been donated by Bill and Kathy Scripps who removed them from a home they have for sale in Rancho Santa Fe.
The sale will take place at a 10,000-square-foot warehouse at 220 N. Quince Street in Escondido with a preview from noon to 4 p.m. on Jan. 26, followed by an auction from 4 to 6 p.m. An open sale will take place on Jan. 27 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If there are any remaining items, the sale will continue from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 28. The public is invited to purchase quality furnishings at a great price and help meet one of San Diego’s most pressing needs.
Diane Cox started Just in Time for Foster Youth 15 yeas ago while she was working as a title representative in the Del Mar/Rancho Santa Fe area. While working she noticed many garages filled with stored furniture, just sitting there. When a friend approached her about helping a foster child who had aged out of the system, who had nothing, Cox remembered the excess furniture. Just in Time began with one small project following another and since it has grown to help the foster youngsters settle into their first home or college with all the items they need for a dorm room or a small apartment. They can even be assigned a person who can help them like a parent would.
“You look at these kids and you expect to see victims, but what you see is faces glowing and enthusiasm looking toward the future,” she said. “A little help means the world to them.”
And a little help may be all they need. Most of them finish college and continue to make their way in the world, she said.
“Studies show 70 percent of all the people in our prisons were foster children,” Cox said.
Now, whenever a realtor sees a situation where furniture is about to be stored or discarded, they know who to call.
“The realtors are really the unsung heroes in this,” Cox said.
Currently the organization serves 600 youths 18 to 26 with about 600 volunteers.
Youths and Just in Time find each other through social workers and word-of-mouth, Cox said.
Humble Design expanded to San Diego County from Detroit recently. Founders Treger and Rob Strasberg have a different approach. They identify families, vets, disabled, single people and foster children who are emerging from homelessness for their program.
“The only qualification is that they have nothing,” Treger Strasberg said.
They first meet with the recipients and ask them about their tastes and preferences in decoration and life. Three days later, while they are out of the apartment or house, volunteer professional decorators arrive with everything they need including furniture, linens, pots, pans and appliances and everything else — even down to Spiderman sheets if a child wants them.
“Then we have a reveal,” she said. “They cry. We cry.”
Donated household goods are used to transform empty, cold homes into warm, welcoming and uplifting homes so that they can have a fresh start, Treger Strasberg said.
“We are not just about furniture, we try to provide dignity,” she added.
The best thing, she said, is that only 1 percent of their clients return to the streets as opposed to the 50 percent who return after other programs.
So far, more than 700 people have been helped by the organization.
Pacific Sotheby’s real estate agents Scott Robeson and Cathy Gilchrist-Colmar, who are selling the Scripps’ home in Rancho Santa Fe, added, “Our first priority is always to help people achieve their dreams, whether it’s families who are making their next move or foster youth and families who are creating a new life for themselves.”