Hunger Ends & Hope Begins

Thousands of neighbors in San Diego County will go to bed hungry tonight… including growing numbers of women with young children.

Your gift this Easter provides a nourishing meal to end their hunger – and give them new hope.

Because you care for hungry, hurting neighbors, the Rescue Mission is where hunger ends and hope begins, this Easter and all year long!

One meal is just $2.05, but the hope it gives someone who’s hurting is priceless. Please help today!

 

 

 

Renewed and Refocused…for the Future of San Diego

San Diego Rescue Mission

Each week, as part of the in-take process, I talk to the men who want to join our program. One of the things I keep hearing is “We need jobs”.

Not hopeless and not helpless, just experiencing homelessness. That’s the message we have for our clients as we move into 2018. To make this happen, we are taking steps to narrow our focus and pursue more measurable, longer term results to get people off the streets.  We are focused on five critical objectives for our clients before they officially graduate from our 12-month residential rehabilitation program.

These objectives include: sobriety, experiencing God, getting a job, finding a place to live, and getting connected to a local church. We know these are big objectives and that’s the primary reason we’ve changed our graduation celebrations to twice a year. We need more time to provide or clients with the treatment, training and tools to succeed long term.

As we set a new direction for 2018 we are excited about our Spiritual Training and Job Training Programs.

Through the Spiritual Training Program, led by James Pope our VP of Evangelism and Discipleship, we are providing an experience closer to real life – in other words, a routine closer to what our clients can expect after they graduate. For example, in the past bible study occurred every morning and chapel every night. Now we offer Chapel service on Wednesday and Sunday nights and each morning, we have a 30-minute devotion. During these staff-led morning devotions, we combine the men and women together for the first time in the history of the Mission – again, so the experience is closer to real life.

It’s only been a few weeks since we started the morning devotions and I am already seeing the tremendous impact. Not only for the clients, but for our staff. It’s a powerful sense of spiritual direction to lead one of these devotions.  In addition to helping our staff get to know the clients better, they are realizing that it’s part of their responsibly to communicate spirituality to our clients.

Our new Job Training Program is something I’m also really excited about.

job trainingEach week, as part of the in-take process, I talk to the homeless men who want to join our program. One of the things I keep hearing is “We need jobs” or “I lost my job because of my addiction problem”.

At San Diego Rescue Mission, we’ve always offered a recovery program as well as life skill classes.  It was clear that preparing our clients for employment opportunities needed to be more strategic.

That’s why we developed a new 12 month Job Training Program.

This starts with the “Discipline of Work” where our clients work on-site here in San Diego Rescue Mission’s kitchen, warehouse, or in our Thrift Stores. They need to show us that they have the commitment, drive and want to work.

Once they have shown their desire to work they can move onto Stage 2 “Development of Skill”. Thanks to our new partnership with San Diego Continuing Education (SDCE) we launched a pilot program offering certifications in several job skills: Plumbing, Welding, Auto Tech, Office Manager, and HVAC.

Job Training at SDRMBut the preparation doesn’t stop with the classroom. Once they acquire the trade skills, they move into Stage 3 “Demonstration of Ability”. This is when they get internships with local businesses and build first-hand experience using their new skills.

And the Final stage? “Deployment to Employment”. This is the time they prepare for graduation and begin the transition to a self-sustaining life. During this stage, we help them with resume building, the job search and securing housing.

We spent a lot of time lining up the partnerships and resources to build this new Job Training Program and now, I am proud to say, it’s officially in motion! In fact, 24 men have already started their trade skill training on site at SDCE this month!

I am so thankful for the selfless dedication and support of my team, partners, and donors who helped kick off this renewed and refocused future for San Diego. Together, we are helping more of San Diego’s homeless men and women truly rebuild their lives and develop the life skills they need to no longer feel hopeless, or helpless.

 

God Bless

Donnie Dee

 

 

 

Donnie Dee

 

Fill the pantry

38,590 meals this month alone… it seems impossible to shop for that many people, right?

It IS possible – but there’s no rescue without you!

Your gift today will provide a hot, nutritious meal for just $2.05 to welcome every man, woman and child who comes through our doors during these colder coastal nights in San Diego County.

Please donate now! Fill our pantry to help fill hungry stomachs with food and weary hearts with new hope. Thank you!

 

 

 

Staff Spotlight: Jeremy Dawsey-Richardson

Jeremy Dawsey-Richardson

“San Diego Rescue Mission exists because of the people in the community who need our help. We want to improve our ability to serve them — with excellence, compassion, creativity, and love.” – Jeremy Dawsey-Richardson, Vice President of Programs for San Diego Rescue Mission

Meet Jeremy Dawsey-Richardson, Vice President of Programs for San Diego Rescue Mission.

Jeremy was looking for a new challenge when he joined our team in December 2016 with high hopes for the organization and our clients. ”I am passionate about developing healthy organizational cultures, and working with teams to grow toward increasing health, capacity, and efficiency,” he said. As the Vice President of Programs, Jeremy loves knowing that the work his team does has meaningful impact on the lives of Rescue Mission clients, “We get to operate in a sacred space where we get to humanize people who are often overlooked and discarded by our society at-large and help them, reminding them that we love them and God loves them.”

Jeremy draws on his years of experience helping to cultivate successful non-profit teams, and a master’s degree in Transformational Leadership, in his new role overseeing the Rescue Mission Programs. “This job gives me the opportunity to support and empower our Directors, and make sure that our Programs are offering clinically sound, evidence-based practices, that are infused with the love of God in Christ.”

“The verse that I’m using as foundational to our Programs’ motivation (and that will soon be painted on our 6th-floor conference room wall) is, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'” (Matthew 25:40).”

Jeremy shared an inspiring story from his time with the Rescue Mission’s Recuperative Care Unit (RCU), of collaborating with another service agency, the Alpha Project, to help place a male client who had custody of his teenage daughter. Since housing is notoriously difficult to find for men with children, teamwork was essential to work through the challenge. Thanks to hard work by the client, and partnership between the organizations’ teams, the father was able to move into rapid re-housing within two months. “We have great hope that this will give the client the stability he needs to continue to recover and care for his child,” said Jeremy. “In every story, there is a team of people who have helped clients get to a point of recovery — establishing income, getting into stable housing, etc. This was truly a team effort.”

Another client story close to his heart involved securing housing for a veteran. “Though this client had physically recovered, we were coming up against a lot of obstacles in moving the client into stable housing.” After 6 months in the RCU, and thanks to a stellar social work team, they succeeded. “For the previous 6 months, this client had displayed a very flat affect and was disengaged and downtrodden. The day this client moved into their housing, they were alive and energetic, almost exuberant.” He admitted, “My wife will confirm that I am not a crier … but in my office that day I shed happy tears for our client because I knew that the change we were seeing was what someone who was experiencing hope for the first time in many years looked like.”

“San Diego Rescue Mission exists because of the people in the community who need our help. We want to improve our ability to serve them — with excellence, compassion, creativity, and love.”

Make a resolution

Your gifts provide nourishing meals (each just $2.05) – and the shelter, clothing and care – that change lives like Tuan’s.

On the bus one day, Tuan shared with the man sitting beside him how desperately he wanted to be free of drugs. The man – a graduate of the Rescue Mission – directed Tuan to our doors! Your generosity provided the meals and shelter that offered Tuan the chance to find God’s love AND new hope for his future. “The Rescue Mission has given me a new beginning. They’ve shown me God,” he says, smiling.

Just one meal at the Rescue Mission can lead to a truly changed life! Make a resolution now to help in 2018 by giving a gift to nourish people like Tuan, body and soul.

 

 

 

Year End

There’s not much time left before 2017 ends.

But there are still so many men, women and even children in San Diego County who desperately need help before the end of the year!

The timing is critical! Men battling addiction or women with young children struggling to find shelter need you now. They can’t wait until the New Year for someone to reach out and help them.

Please don’t wait! Give by midnight on 12/31 – and together, let’s reach out and help all the people in need right now.

 

 

Fill their wish list

Your gifts provide nourishing meals (each just $2.05) – and the shelter, clothing and care – that change lives like Tuan’s.

On the bus one day, Tuan shared with the man sitting beside him how desperately he wanted to be free of drugs. The man – a graduate of the Rescue Mission – directed Tuan to our doors! Your generosity provided the meals and shelter that offered Tuan the chance to find God’s love AND new hope for his future. “The Rescue Mission has given me a new beginning. They’ve shown me God,” he says, smiling.

Just one meal at the Rescue Mission can lead to a truly changed life! Make a resolution now to help in 2018 by giving a gift to nourish people like Tuan, body and soul.

 

 

Fill their wish list

Mary could no longer make ends meet before San Diego Rescue Mission.

There are hundreds of people in San Diego County just like Mary. They come here with very basic wishes at Christmas… food to satisfy hunger… a refuge from the streets… and help getting back on their feet.

Give now to bless them with the most wonderful Christmas gifts: food, shelter, help… and a chance to experience God’s love that heals broken lives.

Share your Christmas joy by sharing a generous gift now!

 

 

We See You

Same Kind of Different As Me

When you give a homeless man a plate of food, you are telling him, “I see you”.

We are seeing it more and more. Outside our local stores, in our neighborhoods, along the streets of downtown – more and more of our brothers and sisters experiencing homelessness.

We recently invited our Home Team Monthly Giving Partners to a pre-screening of the film “The Same Kind of Different as Me” – a powerful movie about the relationship between a homeless man and the volunteers at a Rescue Mission. It was so inspiring to watch how the process of giving, I mean really giving, impacted the lives of the volunteers – sometimes even more so than the homeless people they helped.

In one of the scenes, a homeless man named Denver (played by Djimon Housou) asks Ron, a wealthy volunteer played by Greg Kinnear, “What do you think a homeless person thinks when you give them a plate of food?” Ron, not sure how to answer the question says, “I’m helping?” No, Denver says, “You are saying ‘You See Me’”.

And this is what we do every day at San Diego Rescue Mission. Our volunteers, case workers, staff – we SEE the people who are struggling on our streets. They are San Diegans with stories. Stories that have led them to lose their way, and many times their voice.

Just last week we honored the 116 men and women who died alone on the streets of San Diego. During this important event, we carry the shoes of the deceased, and we tell their stories  – because they can no longer tell it.

Donnie Dee at Candlelight Vigil

Here I am at our annual Candlelight Vigil helping to tell the stories of the 116 homeless individuals who died alone on the streets in San Diego this year. We will remember you.

Their stories are not always related to drug addiction, crime or alcohol abuse. In fact, many San Diegans are just a job loss, injury or eviction away from ending up on the streets.  Homeless individuals are not all the same. They do not all have the same story. But they all need help turning their story around.

Every 3 months, we celebrate those clients who are changing their story through our special Graduation Ceremonies. Each graduation at the Mission represents the effort and important role every single person on this team plays to help a homeless individual turn their story around. Volunteers, Case Mangers, Donors, Board members, Staff everyone plays a role.  My hope is get more people on this team, so we can help more San Diegans get off the streets and turn their story around. Let’s turn these graduation ceremonies into BIG events in San Diego!

Homeless Lives MatterBefore I close, I’d like to share one more powerful line from the movie I mentioned earlier. It happens in one of the last scenes of the movie when Denver says, “We are all homeless. We are all just trying to get home.”

And this is so true. Whether you live in Ranch Santa Fe or on the streets of downtown, we are all trying to find our way to God. We are all trying to find our way home. We can all benefit from more love, compassion and connection.

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them”. – Hebrew 6:10

So let’s do this together. Let’s find our way home together.

Lets work together to let San Diego’s lost, least and lonely know that “We See You”. We want to be a part of your story. And let’s commit to making our next Graduation Ceremony an even bigger success.

God Bless

Donnie Dee

 

 

 

Donnie Dee

 

 

Help put us over the top

 

38,590 meals by Thanksgiving. That’s our goal – and our challenge! – this month.

Help now by making a gift and pushing us one step closer toward feeding even more people.

Each $2.05 meal you provide is SO MUCH MORE than a plate of food. It’s a chance for people to change their lives. To end their hunger. To put homelessness behind them.

Please help meet this huge holiday goal! Fill plates with food and lives with hope by making a special Thanksgiving gift today.