To Top

Meet Laura Tancredi-Baese of Home Start

Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Tancredi-Baese.

Laura, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
At a young age, I observed my peers traveling down the wrong path. I decided to make a constructive difference in the lives of young people like them, so I began my career in social services over 30 years ago. In 1979, I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Social Welfare and began working as a counselor for at-risk youth. I decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in Social Work from San Diego State University where I honed my clinical skills.

After graduating and interning, I became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with the goal to provide direct services to children and youth. Not long after, I became the Director of a basic shelter for runaway homeless youth ages 12-17. Over the next 10 years, I was able to grow professionally into my capacity as Executive Director, I was able to develop and create housing programs for transitional age youth.

Eventually, I was recruited to be the CEO for Home Start. Serving San Diego’s children and youth is my passion, and I am fortunate to have found my calling, devoting my career to improving the lives of the under-served in San Diego County.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
As with any journey that is worth traveling, there are times that are smooth and times that are bumpy. Non-profit organizations are affected by government shifts in funding, the economy, and the unpredictable nature that comes with doing more for less. What keeps me going during these bumpy times are remembering my and our WHY.

Our mission and vision, our focus on preventing child abuse and neglect and strengthening some of San Diego’s most vulnerable families. When things get tough, I think about the children here in San Diego and I think about the lives that we have been able to change. I know that our bigger purpose of having every child live in a safe and nurturing home is what guides us through the good time and the hard times.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Home Start, Inc. – what should we know?
For nearly 46 years Home Start has stayed true to our Mission of assuring the safety and resiliency of children by strengthening families and their communities. We have this audacious vision that every single child in San Diego deserves to live in a safe and nurturing home supported by healthy parents. We provide the full spectrum of services from prevention and early intervention all the way to evidence-based treatment and specialized housing for children and families in need.

We began as a home visitation program and we continue to have quality home visitation services for low-income families and other at-risk populations such as military families, immigrant and refugee families and young 18-24-year-old parents. I am very proud of our whole staff who provide home based and center based services geared towards some of some of San Diego’s most needy families. Because of an unmet need for specialized housing, I started our Maternity Shelter Program just over 8 years ago as a specialized program geared toward the unique needs of homeless pregnant or parenting 18-24-year-old young women and their children.

Beginning with 5 apartments, we have expanded the program to serve 30 young women and their 40 children. Recently, we added a Thrift Boutique Social Enterprise as an innovative program to support these homeless young women in developing job skills, building their confidence, and increasing their capacity to become self-sufficient. “Re-purpose for a Purpose” is much more than a tagline…

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Of course! My 30 plus year journey in the non-profit world has included numerous mentors and supporters and teammates along the way. The reality is that we are all in this together and that human services is about heart and recognizing that we are here to build each other up and to support growth and hope for the most vulnerable among us.

Running an agency with nearly 100 staff means that I am blessed to have a team of talented compassionate and skilled employees who give of themselves each and every day. None of this would be possible without them or our volunteer Board of Directors who generously give their time, talent, and treasure.


  • 99.9 % of our services are provided free of charge.
  • Our Blue Ribbon Gala on Saturday, April 21st starts at $250 per ticket and raises critical funding for our programs.
  • In October, we host our Hallo-Wine Fall Festival. Tickets are $65.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Lisa

    April 12, 2018 at 3:13 am

    Cool story!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in