We had the good fortune of connecting with Rosy Vasquez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rosy, how do you think about risk?
I only see opportunity most of the time. Something is only risky if you’re not ready. I started my non profit only after I had all the research and data needed to design programs that took action and were effective. I find the word risk makes me feel that most folks see it as a barrier.. Though most people felt that starting a non profit was not doable with out capital first, Community Through Hope is a model that breaks that stereotype. I do feel that if we do not take action as a community, we are risking lives being lost with regards to serving the unsheltered and those facing food insecurity. Research, data, action, collective thinking and bravery mitigate risk. I feel the word risk and timing can balance each other out. If it doesn’t feel right, it’s not the right time, During stressful times in my life, I’ve always chosen to overcome the barrier by not shying away from what is difficult. I’ve chosen to tackle adversity head on. I’ve learned to practice the pause. .Many things may seem risky. Listen to your inner self. It may not be fear that is keeping you from trying something new or taking a leap of a faith, it just may not be the right time. If the door doesn’t open or the window is too hard to open, step back and pause.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As founder and Executive Director of Community Through Hope (CTH), I bring deep local roots and personal empathy to my work as an advocate for people in crisis, poverty and hunger. CTH provides case management for unsheltered homeless in Chula Vista, National City and throughout the South Bay by using an action-first model that addresses immediate needs such as assessing for mental health and sobriety issues. CTH specializes in trauma-informed case management, utilizing a method addressing the 15 levels of crisis experienced by individuals. Over a decade ago, I hit a low point in my life as I battled with a series of health, mental health and other personal challenges – leading me to experience the criminal justice system firsthand. I credit this experience with setting me on a healing journey and giving me a mission to serve others. I immersed myself in volunteering at my local church, where I wrote grants, expanded a food pantry and partnered with the Chula Vista Police Department on street outreach to the unsheltered. I then served in a development position with another large church organization before branching out to launch CTH in 2018. Starting a non profit that focuses on the most underserved population in a city with minimal resources was a huge task. I am grateful to all the volunteers who agreed that it was time to take action. 2 years after our inception, Community Through Hope is providing nutrition to over 30,000 individuals a month and serving the unsheltered during these unprecedented times. I’m glad that our agency is volunteer driven and partnership based. I felt it was important to take action as a community rather than one small agency struggling to compete with long standing bureaucratic organizations for funding. We, as a community, have created an action oriented agency that puts clients first. I’m honored to serve as the first Executive Director of Community Through Hope. My goals are to leave a foundation of innovative programs that help others heal from trauma so that they can regain their self sufficiency.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
As a local girl having lived in Chula Vista, San Diego Area all my 54 years, Im a bit of an eccentric so when it comes to art, music and food. Any friend visiting is going to have to come along for a pish posh of this and that. I’m in love with Balboa Park for many reasons but I’d make sure my friends visited the Japanese garden and then we’d head over to Panama 66 for a bite and if we’re lucky, there would be some great jazz artist jamming in the patio. I love Jazz and San Diego has some of the best Jazz musicians in my opinion. The Westgate Hotel on a Friday and Saturday night is the stop. World class Jazz artist like Gilbert Castellanos, Rob Thorson, Steph Johnson and Joshua White all perform at this beautiful hotel. The main floor bar is like a time warp of decadence. I love antiques so if we were lucky to time it right, I love to show them the Montezuma House museum. San Diego beaches are the best so a fun walk at Kobeys Swapmeet for some treasure and then off to the PB Pier sounds like a great day to me. I love Liberty Station and any food from the Liberty Public Market is great.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
These thoughts are dedicated to the many volunteers who have inspired me to be the best version of myself and have trusted my leadership to change the narrative around the unsheltered crisis and food insecurity in my community.
Other: www.facebook.com/communitythroughhope.org insta @communitythroughhope