For the past 20 years, the REstart Program has worked to open the doors of the most basic needs – housing and employment – to disadvantaged individuals recovering from the cycle of poverty, substance abuse, and domestic violence. In many cases, The REstart Program is a chance to provide a decent home for the family, the chance to establish a career that builds a stable future, and the chance for individuals to live with the dignity that comes from hard work and personal accomplishments.
REstart students receive training, experience, mentoring and opportunities which may lead to careers in property management. But more than this, the REstart Program offers its graduates restored faith, renewed confidence, and reclaimed self-respect. REstart brings families home again.
REstart’s purpose is to provide education and training for the relief of the poor or underprivileged in order to give a new start to those whose lives have been affected by unemployment, homelessness, domestic violence, substance abuse or poverty.
We are committed to bringing integrity, compassion and professionalism to individuals facing these unique challenges by providing the marketable skills necessary to obtain jobs, careers and homes. REstart, in conjunction with the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM®), provides the knowledge, education, internships and networking opportunities that empower our students to achieve success.
The concept for REstart dates back to the 1990s when Linda Lewis and Lauri Greenblatt Hines, both Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM®) Certified Property Managers (CPM®), observed first-hand the struggle many San Diego families had in obtaining quality housing and providing for child care. In an effort to meet that need, they created the Bobby Jo Lewis Foundation, named in honor of Bobby Jo Lewis, who lost her life to domestic violence. Their mission was “Bringing families home again through education, training, love, and hope.” This foundation, known as REstart, began serving underprivileged and marginalized groups; giving them the skills to find jobs and create homes.
After twenty years, REstart continues to grow. With help from generous donors, our graduates are finding housing, jobs, and success. The program and its graduates have appeared in newspaper articles, television broadcasts, and speaking engagements. It’s grown from a local organization, to a nationwide network, helping people across the country. With the financial uncertainty brought about by COVID-19, more and more families face an uncertain future. REstart, and programs like it, are more vital than ever, and we need your help to continue “bringing families home again.”
“I became homeless on 1/1/2008. The home where I was renting a room was foreclosed on by the bank. By 4/1/2008, I had lost my job. I was staying in the South Bay area of San Diego sleeping in parks and not sure where my next meal would come from. Then I discovered Father Joe’s Villages. They served free lunches. So, I would walk from Imperial Beach to 15th Street and Imperial two times a week for a meal. By 9/4/2008, I was on a waiting list and then was living in their program. At least I was out of the elements and had a place to stay with food to eat. In 2010, I was given the opportunity to enroll in the REstart Program. I interned at the Promenade at Rio Vista in Mission Valley. After the internship was over, I was hired by Sares-Regis to work at the Promenade. I worked there for six years until I retired.
In 2016, I was given the opportunity to attend an IREM International COnference in San Diego. Jackie Diaz and I spoke about the REstart Program in front of the entire group at this conference (about 750 people). We were given a standing ovation. It was an incredible experience!
I am so proud to be part of the REstart experience. This is an organization of outstanding individuals and leaders. I appreciate still being associated with the REstart Program and being able to help the new students“
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In 2016, Stevie Paschall was given the opportunity to attend an IREM International Conference in San Diego, California.
Martha is a former REstart graduate. Read the incredible story about where her and her daughter are today.