“I have been truly blessed and humbled to serve the San Diego Rescue Mission for these past 11 years. With God’s grace, I have witnessed first-hand how lives do change here.”

Herb JohnsonHerb Johnson, long-time president and CEO of the San Diego Rescue Mission, has announced he will retire effective June 30, 2017. He will continue for an additional 6-months as a part-time consultant to the organization.

Founded in 1955, San Diego Rescue Mission, a faith-based organization, offers safe-haven as well as restorative care and rehabilitation services to the homeless, addicted, abused, and poor in our community. San Diego Rescue Mission offers a wide range of onsite programs and services through its Nueva Vida Haven Emergency Shelter, Partners for Hunger Relief, Men’s Center, Women and Children’s Center, Transitional Housing and Recuperative Care Center. It is the only major homeless shelter in San Diego that does not receive government funding for its programs.

Under Johnson’s 11-year leadership the organization has grown to meet the expanding needs of San Diego’s homeless population. Each month, the Rescue Mission provides nearly 12,500 nights of shelter to San Diego’s homeless, serves more than 37,000 hot, nutritious meals, and provides more than 82,000 hours of education, work training, rehabilitation and Christian care to the residents in its long-term care programs. In 2007, Johnson introduced the iconic Sleepless San Diego event, in collaboration with other faith-based, social service and community partners. The event that draws more than 1,000 participants, brings attention to the challenges of chronic homelessness and the ever increasing number of people living on the streets of San Diego.

“I have been truly blessed and humbled to serve the San Diego Rescue Mission for these past 11 years,” said Johnson. “With God’s grace, I have witnessed first-hand how lives do change here. We have become a strong and determined voice for the homeless. I have had the deep honor to work with an outstanding board of directors, staff and community. We have done good work together.”

Bob Jones, chair of the San Diego Rescue Mission, said, “Herb’s leadership has inspired all of us at the Rescue Mission, and helped shape the narrative on homelessness in our community. We hope to keep Herb affiliated with the Rescue Mission as an advisor and voice for the community well beyond June 30. We have accomplished a great deal under his stewardship.”

Jones noted that in the past year alone San Diego Rescue Mission introduced a men and women’s transitional housing program that provides structure and serves as a model of what living independently will be like as much as possible. To better serve the women in the Rescue Mission’s year-long recovery program, transitional housing and overnight-shelter, the Rescue Mission now has an in-house Children’s Center. In addition, the organization has added space in a new facility across the street from its primary location to increase capacity for its educational programs.

Johnson added, “In my tenure at the San Diego Rescue Mission, we have felt the embrace of the San Diego community for the people suffering on the streets of our beautiful city. With God’s guidance and the kindness and generosity of San Diegans, I am encouraged that the San Diego Rescue Mission will continue to provide comfort, care, and salvation to the homeless, the hungry, the addicted and abused.”