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Bright Futures Candles are helping young mothers build skills and business knowledge

Home Start program has assisted tens of thousands of young San Diego mothers since 1972

SAN DIEGO — Sometimes in life, young mothers need a little help. In this Zevely Zone I went to Normal Heights to visit the nonprofit organization called Home Start.  

I met a 23-year-old mother named Leah and her son Jarvis at a small playground on the property. Leah loaded Jarvis up in a big plastic car.

 "Do you want me to push you around?" Leah asked her 2-year-old son. 

She grew up with poverty that she hopes Jarvis never knows. 

"There just wasn't enough money to go around," said Leah. 

Credit: KFMB TV

Leah was adopted and took her first job at the age of 16. I asked her, "At some point were you homeless?" She told me "Yes," but added just because they didn't have a place to sleep Jarvis didn't need to know that. 

"The way I see it if I panic or get anxiety or don't know what I am going to do what is my son supposed to do?" said Leah.

Leah's not sure where their lives would be if not for the nonprofit group Home Start that gave her a free place to live and a job. Leah is working for Bright Futures Candles as a candle creator.

"This is a soy coconut wax," she said as Leah showed me how to make a candle

Each of our candle scents are handmade and beautifully scented. Help give our "at risk" clients a second chance with a Bright Futures Candles.

"I want to help some of our most vulnerable people in San Diego, " said Laura Tancredi-Baese who is CEO of Home Start which has helped tens of thousands of young mothers since 1972.

"How does it feel to turn around a life?" I asked.

Laura told me, "It's the most important thing we all do. Doing something for someone else and seeing what they can be. She is going to be amazing."  

With candles lighting the way, Leah plans on going back to school to become a mechanic.

In addition to providing programs and services designed to develop and strengthen families and communities, Home Start owns and operates a Thrift Boutique in Normal Heights.

The store provides revenue to support Home Start's life-changing programs. It offers a supportive setting for young mothers who are currently in Home Start's Maternity Housing Program to develop job skills and gain work experience as they move towards independence. The candles are sold online but also at the Home Start Thrift Boutique which is a lovely shop with clothes, toys, and household items.

Leah says just like the comfort from a candle there was Jarvis. 

"In my life, I did not know I needed anything until I had my son and then I was like 'OK, this is what I needed all my life,'" said said. 

Leah said she never saw it coming, a little boy and a little help. 

"It's like your mom telling you you are beautiful 'yeah, you are my mom, you are supposed to say that,' you know what I mean? So it's one thing for people to say but it's another thing for strangers to completely show it," Leah said.

"That's like my best friend," she said pointing at her son.

If you'd like to learn more about Home Start or buy a candle to support the program go to www.home-start.org/bright-futures-candles.

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