San Diego County Jewish Family Service programs.

Numerous programs are administered by San Diego Jewish Family Service. Some of their resources are available to the general public, if they meet income or other conditions. However, please note that some of the assistance is available only to Jewish faith members that reside in the county.

Assistance ranges from free food to employment programs, counseling, and resources that focus on the elderly. In total, there are over 40 different services offered to individuals and families in San Diego. While more details are below, the non-profit can also be reached at (858) 637-3000.

The organization strives to feed the hungry in San Diego County. They operate programs such as the Hand Up Youth Food Pantry. This is actually run by the youth in San Diego, in partnership with JFS and other non-profits. The pantry distributes groceries and canned goods to qualified clients. There is also a delivery service for seniors, the homebound, and disabled. The Hand Up Youth pantry can also offer referrals and self-sufficiency services.

The Foodmobile is the San Diego Jewish Family Service delivery service. It provides hot, kosher, meals to homebound younger homebound disabled adults as well as older adults. There may be relatively minimal fees involved for this program.

Jewish Family Service works to help seniors and the elderly in southern California and San Diego County. The non-profit wants older adults or the elderly to be healthy, safe, and remain active. For more details, interested parties can dial (858) 637-3040 for information, referrals, and intake. Depending on the results of that, referrals may be offered to counseling and support groups, government benefits, housing, free meal programs, social programs, homemaker and care services, care management, and transportation. Some of the programs for seniors that are offered are as follows.

  • Bereavement is offered, including counseling, to help those deal with the death of a loved one.
  • Home delivered meals, including the Food mobile (see above) are available for the elderly. The delivery may have fruits, perishable items, frozen foods, or holiday meals.
  • Social & Wellness Centers are operated by San Diego Jewish Family Service.
  • Pet food. This is more limited, but this may be another service in San Diego for the homebound.
  • Home Care Management can advise family members or caregivers.




  • Volunteer home care - Volunteers from the San Diego community help older adults and the elderly remain independent and assist with tasks such as meal preparation, light housekeeping, transportation, and shopping.
  • Repairs - This includes minor home repairs or safety modifications.
  • Transportation is offered by a program known as On the Go. This will offer rides to Social & Wellness Centers, transportation solutions for older adults to medical and personal appointments, shopping centers, and other activities.

Case Management can deal with emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being of clients of JFS of San Diego. Some of the workshops and topics covered are as follows. Crisis and medical services include referrals and help in satisfying needs such as Legal issues, Financial emergencies, evictions, Unemployment/Vocational Needs, homelessness, or Mental health challenges. Project SARAH is another resource that offers crisis intervention and support to women, individuals and families impacted by domestic violence. There may also be no interest loans offered to members of the Jewish faith for their basic needs.

Case managers from Jewish Family Service help with addressing under or unemployment. This is a focus as it leads to self-sufficiency. They coordinate Employment and Career Services. Staff will help clients with a successful job search. Services include resume writing, educational workshops, networking opportunities, and personalized job search assistance.

Credit Counseling and Financial Literacy Workshops include basic financial literacy, debt reductions and even information on the bankruptcy filing process in California. The charity will work to empower low income clients to remain or return to self-sufficiency.

Low-interest car loans are part of the San Diego Jewish Family Service Ways to Work program. This is an option for employed and other qualified consumers that are just credit-challenged. Not only may a loan be issued, but it comes with long-term stability and financial literacy. Key partners of Ways to Work are the San Diego United Way and Walmart.

Military members and veterans can get help as well. Case Management for military members administers individualized assistance to families who are having difficulty financially meeting their basic needs. Some of the main services are below.





Counseling can focus on the needs of those serving our country, including how to apply for government benefits, locate low income housing, or deal with the death of a military member. Counselors Jewish Family Service of San Diego will help clients through tough times.

Additional support and assistance is part of Military Case Management. This is really an umbrella of programs and resources for veterans and military members that live in San Diego County. Veterans can get advice on applying for VA benefits, referrals, and a number of other programs are offered by Jewish services.

Some programs are also for immigrants and refugees in San Diego. There is help in applying for Citizenship or Naturalization Services, including form such as the N-400 application for Citizenship. Immigrants can benefit from Job Placement Services or get help in applying for green cards, work authorizations, or assistance with replacing missing immigration. Numerous other programs are offered by San Diego Jewish Family Service (JFS) as well.

Housing and assistance for the homeless in Coachella Valley is offered as well. San Diego Jewish Family Service works with partners such as the Coachella Valley Association of Governments as well as JFS of the Desert on this. They work to assist homeless individuals in the Coachella Valley of California.

Some of what may be offered includes transitional housing, budgeting instruction, case management services, job placement assistance, low income housing and other support. One of the key resources is the Desert Horizons Transitional Housing Program.




It brings homeless individuals directly from emergency shelters or the streets into transitional housing units that are located across San Diego or Riverside County. Staff offer other supportive services to help transition individuals into long term, permanent housing. HUD Housing and Urban Development and the Riverside County Department of Public Social Services are key partners.

Other programs include Desert Vista Permanent Supportive Housing, which is for the disabled. Case managers work to stop the cycle of homelessness and help clients overcome various barriers to obtaining and retaining long term housing.

San Diego Jewish Family Service is located at Turk Family Center. The address is 8804 Balboa Avenue, San Diego, California 92123. Call (858) 637-3000.


By Jon McNamara

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