Home Team Night at the Movies – October 18

Exclusive Pre-Screening of
Same Kind of Different as Me

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 | 6:45pm
AMC Mission Valley 20 | $10/Ticket

Join us for our Home Team Night as we head to the movies for a special pre-screening of the inspirational film, Same Kind of Different as Me. This incredible movie, tells the true story of an unlikely friendship between a volunteer and a homeless man at a Rescue Mission that transforms lives and hearts in their community.

Bring a friend, loved one or the whole family as we celebrate the great work that is being done through YOU, our donors. This special pre-screening will also feature the opportunity to meet and hear from our new President and CEO, Donnie Dee.


Home Team Members – We’d like to offer you two complimentary tickets as a Faithful Monthly Partner of the Rescue Mission. If you haven’t joined the Home Team yet, visit sdrescue.org/hometeam to learn more and make an even greater impact at the Rescue Mission. If you have any questions, please contact Michael Badida at mbabida@sdrescue.org.

This is a Team I Can Win With

Donnie DeeBy Donnie Dee

As a former NFL Football player, I know I’m only as strong as the team. And in my first 45 days here as CEO and President, I’ve become in awe of the team here at San Diego Rescue Mission. This staff, the volunteers, the Board… they are all here for the right reasons.  And I’m confident that God positioned us together strategically to be a solution for our homeless neighbors.

During these first weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know the staff through “All Staff” meetings, one-on-ones and a survey – which by the way, revealed that 74% of our staff said they feel a sense of “calling” to the Rescue Mission. Through these interactions, I’ve learned just how committed the team is. Here are just a few examples:

We have staff members who drive 1.5 hours every day from Temecula/Murrieta, and another who drives 2 hours from El Centro.

We have a program director who worked a 16 hour day (more than once!) because a Residential Advisor (RA) was ill.

Our Children’s Center director has taken our clients’ clothes home with her and washed them in her own washer and dryer.

We had an RA perform chest compressions on a client who was unresponsive until paramedics could get there and give her a diabetes shot.

Childrens Center

Our Children’s Center director has taken our clients’ clothes home with her and washed them in her own washer and dryer.

We had 10 of our Board Members attend the first board meeting with me as president – and  7  attended our clients’ graduation in July.

Just recently, I had a program director show up in my office in tears. She was distraught over a client who had to be discharged from the program due to a code of conduct violation. The director knew that if this individual went back to the streets, it would be the worst case scenario. We sat down, and worked together to see how we could get her back on track – back into the program.

Those are just a handful of examples showing the commitment of this staff.  They aren’t doing it for the hours, the pay, or a stress free work environment. They do it for the homeless, hungry and hurting people we serve every day. I’m inspired by the work they do.  It makes me want to strive to serve them even better.

Part of my mission in my first weeks here, was to assist in the decision and hiring process for two key positions.

As many of you know, our VP of Programs stepped down a month before I got here. As we conducted interviews to find the perfect replacement, we realized that our strongest candidates were those who already worked here.

Helping homeless

Winning means eliminating homelessness one life at a time.

We ended up promoting two long time staff members for the roles. I’m so pleased to announce that Jeremy Dawsey- Richardson, formerly Program Director of the Recuperative Care Unit is our new VP of Programs. And James Pope, formerly Men’s Center Director, will be filling the newly created position of VP of Evangelism and Discipleship.  This new position is designed to create a greater awareness around the spiritual development aspect of what we do. You’ll be hearing more about Jeremy and James, and their new roles, in the upcoming months.

As discussed in my last blog post “A New Calling Revealed,” I knew God had a plan for me.  And what I’ve experienced and seen here in my first 45 days has helped to confirm that I made the right choice. In my 27+ years of ministry, I don’t believe there is a more worthy cause that I’ve ever been associated with.

Not just because we feed and house homeless men, women and children, but more importantly, (and unlike other Government-funded nonprofits) we have the freedom and blessing to talk about faith and God. Together, we work to address issues of the heart and spirit.

Jesus changes lives and that’s the game changer!!

God Bless,

Donnie Dee

 

 

 

 

Hundreds of homeless and hungry guests from San Diego County will come to our table this Thanksgiving season for hot, nourishing meals.

That’s more than 115,800 meals here in our dining room!

Each $2.05 you give provides 1 more of those meals – and opens the door to important Rescue Mission services that are often the start of a new and better life.

Your gift now will help provide meals and so much more by Thanksgiving! Give generously to feed all those in need this holiday season.

 

 

 

RSVP ASAP

 

Our Give Where You Live summer campaign is in its final weeks.

The challenge of caring for homeless and hungry folks in San Diego County is never done.

Offering a helping hand to our neighbors in need makes all the difference! Nourishing meals for people who are hungry, safe shelter for people who are homeless, and all the help possible for people taking bold steps to transform their lives through God’s love.

Please accept our invitation and impact lives right in your own backyard by sharing a gift below. Thank you!

 

 

 

A New Calling Revealed

By Donnie Dee

Donnie DeeI never planned on becoming the next President and CEO of San Diego Rescue Mission. I was enjoying my work as The Director of the Tom Landry Associates for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).  It had been a fun season of watching my kids play college Basketball for USD and UCI, and volunteering my time on Christian Boards such as Worship for Kids. Of course, we were donors to the San Diego Rescue Mission, but becoming the next President and CEO? That was not my plan.

But God had a different plan for me.

It started when a friend forwarded me the job description of the new position and said “This is you!” Strategic Leadership, Visionary, Operations Management, Fundraising…  all things I have much experience with and was currently doing for FCA.  In the months that followed, my new calling was revealed through the interview process.  Amos 3:7

I was deeply impressed by the Board of Directors. I have a lot of experience dealing with different types of Boards, and this Board really stood out. I saw a genuine love for the Mission in each of them.

I was inspired by the staff. Their commitment was unwavering – from helping the clients to sharing their love of Christ. This was a team I wanted to help build, support and serve.

I was moved by Herb’s leadership. I toured the Mission and saw first-hand what he helped build the past 15+ years.  I caught his vision.

The Dee Family

Meet the Dee family. Known as a sports family involved in sports ministry, they are looking forward to this new journey. Johnny (USD) and Jenny (UCI) both played college basketball and Jackie ran cross country in college. Donnie was drafted by the NFL and went on to play for the Indianapolis Colts and Seattle Seahawks. (Photo from San Diego Union Tribune)

One afternoon, while touring the Emergency Overnight Shelter, I congratulated Herb on the incredible accomplishment of being able to shelter, feed and care for 80+ women and children each night. His response moved me further. “It’s not the 80+ individuals who stay here that I am concerned about. It’s the 200+ that I am not able to get in here that I think about most often.”

I was moved, but still found myself fighting with God. Is this what you want me to do? Why me? Why now? And that’s when I was challenged by a verse I had read many times.  Proverbs 21:13

“The one who shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will himself also call out and not be answered.”

That’s when concern and compassion started to become passion. God was allowing me to hear the cry in a fresh way. This was my new journey, my new assignment.

So here I am, the new CEO and President of San Diego Rescue Mission. I’ve made a commitment to serve and support those who work most directly with our clients and to make sure they have the resources, prayer support, and direction to make a greater impact.

I am looking forward to making this American’s Finest City –and it can’t be until we figure out the problem with people being homeless. In fact, San Diego has the 4th largest homeless population in the country.  We want to be part of the solution.

In addition to President and CEO, I am also the Chief Fundraiser. I believe that donors give to causes, but they invest in results. I plan to show results. I’m looking for men and women who want to invest – which is a much bigger commitment than giving. If we are going to make an impact in this community like we want, it’s going to take true ministry partners.

As I start this new calling as President and CEO, I look forward to getting to know each of you, our supporters, and continuing to build upon this great organization that has stayed so true to its original Mission for more than 60 years.

God Bless,
Donnie Dee
Donnie Dee

Help Today

Give Where You Live

 

97 days of summer… and 97 days of meals to provide. That’s $185,612 for meals alone!

Give Where You Live is your chance to make a HUGE impact right here in San Diego County this summer. Because you don’t have to go far to see people in desperate need.

Please give now! Your generous gift will provide our community’s homeless and hungry with so much: hot meals served with love… nights of rest in a safe bed… and the hope they need to build brighter futures.

 

 

 

Staff Spotlight: Robin Colberg

Robin Colberg, Development Manager

“It’s important for donors to meet the people they are helping; to hear the stories about how their gifts are making a real impact and saving real lives.” – Robin Colberg, Development Manager

Meet Robin, Development Manager at San Diego Rescue Mission for more than seven years.  Robin came from a competitive, fast-paced corporate environment in the financial services industry. When the pressure began to affect her health and marriage, she took some time to reevaluate her life priorities. That’s when she discovered San Diego Rescue Mission and a prayer was answered.

“I’d often thought I’d like to work at a non-profit –and came to realize a Christian non-profit was exactly where I wanted to be,” she said.

Robin’s role within the Development team has evolved over the years. She goes beyond managing the direct mail, outreach and marketing efforts and has made it a priority to connect donors with our clients’ stories.

“It’s important for donors to meet the people they are helping; to hear the stories about how their gifts are making a real impact and saving real lives,” she explains.

One of the most powerful donor client moments happened when Felecia, a current client, stepped into a meeting with a potential granter, and shared her personal story.

“Felicia was only eight years old the first time her mother kicked her out of her house. And when she was 10 years old, she came home from school to realize her family completely abandoned her. They moved and took everything – except her. The story, like so many others we help, was heart breaking,” Robin explained.

One of the best things about Robin’s job is that she gets to see the client donor connection come full circle.

“Many of the clients we are able to help end up working here at San Diego Rescue Mission. Felicia went on to become Resident Manager of the Women and Children’s Center, and is getting married to another staffer.”

Another former client is now helping Robin write donor “Thank You” letters and even call major donors to let them know first-hand, how their generous contribution helped save a life.  And as our donors get to know the clients they help, Robin makes sure we get to know our donors as well.

“I enjoy getting to know the donors; their stories about why they give and seeing their hearts for our clients.  One of our friends likes to create celebrations for NVH. She gets pretty elaborate with decorations, face-painting, goodie bags and such.  I think it’s awesome how she provides the children and moms the opportunity to celebrate these holidays like everyone else does.”

The funds Robin and the Development Team bring to San Diego Rescue Mission are what keep the doors open and the lights on, staff paid and clients getting the help they need in order to live victoriously in Christ.

“There are so many good stories I could tell – from the gang member who came to the RCU with a broken hand and went on to become a Sunday School teacher to the single mom escaping domestic violence who’s now pursuing her Master’s Degree.  There’s everything in between as well…the eloquent graduate who gave her testimony at graduation only to re-enter the program with her three sons two years later.  There are great victories and great loss, but at the center of it all is a dedicated program staff that teaches and displays the love of Jesus.  And it all comes down to that.  We are all human beings, and while we all come into the world the same way, our lives and opportunities vary greatly thereafter.”

 

 

This has never been a job. It’s always been my Mission.

It was 2003 when I first started volunteering at San Diego Rescue Mission. From the start, I knew this was a strong organization; but its impact was little known in the community.

Providing new shoes and hope during a Samaritan’s Feet event.

It wasn’t until San Diego Rescue Mission moved to a new building in Bankers Hill that the community took real notice. Shortly after the move, I joined the board of directors and went on to become Board Chair. I put my energy into stabilizing and growing the staff, working with neighborhood associations and working more closely with the San Diego homeless community and its providers. Today, I am proud to say, the community now realizes our impact!

When I became CEO and President, the Rescue Mission had 5 or 6 programs to help our homeless population – today we have 11! And each of these programs is continuing to grow.

One of the biggest accomplishments in my 15+ years with the Rescue Mission happened during our 60thAnniversary Celebration in 2015, when we raised funds to expand and enhance the Nueva Vida Haven Emergency Overnight Shelter for Women and Children. This meant we could finally get the mattresses off the floor and the women and children into new bunks. We replaced floors, redid the walls, and expanded the entire space to include more beds, storage, better bathrooms and a quiet room, so kids could focus on their homework.

Getting the mattresses off the floor. Before and After photos of NVH Emergency Overnight Shelter for Women and Children.

Another important accomplishment, that I could not be more proud of, is the opening of our Licensed Children’s Preschool. Now, entering its 3rd year, we are able to see our preschoolers successfully move on to Kindergarten. And I’m so happy to share that their new schools have reported “no deficiencies”. This is critical to helping break the cycle of homelessness from the start. As many studies have shown, kids who start school behind, never catch up. And that leads to drop outs and eventually homelessness.

The 2nd Avenue Transitional Housing program is another major program we recently added. This multi phase transitional housing program is now able to accommodate a diverse group of individuals by offering two tracks; one focused on finding and maintaining employment, and the other finding alternate routes for client’s with disabilities to be active and resourceful within their greater community. This program is critical is helping formerly homeless men and women heal previous barriers to independence and work towards self-sufficiency.

I’ve also witnessed the After Care program grow into a huge success. It took us a while to figure it out – but today, we have a high-level, full-time, dedicated After Care Coordinator who is keeping in constant contact with more than 800+ alumni. We’ve learned from experience that some of our graduates are more successful, with close contact for 1-2 years after they leave the Mission. Ongoing communication and assistance with job training, housing, and support is critical to permanent change.

I started the Recuperative Care Unit (RCU) over 7 years ago and have watched it grow and change to meet the needs of clients referred to us by our partner hospitals. We were able to convert some extra space, and provide more services to homeless men and women newly released from the hospital yet still requiring medical attention. Today, the program offers up to 32 patients a safe and supportive environment, as well as meals, oversight of medical treatment, and follow-up care.

Another big change in San Diego Rescue Mission history happened just last year when we were able to move the executive team to a building across the street. This significant move not only allows for more office and living space, but more space for education and training. In fact, 35% of our new building is dedicated to classrooms. This enhanced classroom space paved the way for a relationship with San Diego Community College. Last month, instructors from SDCC started teaching 2 classes – and we are looking to increase those classes to several more. In fact, that will be one of the focuses of our upcoming June 17 celebration – raising funds for scholarships, classes, computers, and training materials to help further grow this program which not only serves homeless individuals, but any San Diegan in need.

35% of our new building is dedicated to classrooms benefiting all San Diegans in need.

Another important accomplishment happens each Fall when hundreds of young “friendraisers” and fundraisers join together to serve the community and to educate themselves and the public about ways to help homeless. In the years I’ve been at San Diego Rescue Mission, I’ve seen our signature event Sleepless San Diego become a bigger and bigger impact in our community. As a result, it has connected us with important groups such as the Military, Community Colleges, and City Government.

Working to inspire the next generation of young fundraisers and volunteers during Sleepless San Diego.

And finally, I am most proud of the executive team I’ve helped put in place. We have such strong players here, and because of this, I am confident that they (along with your help) will strive to ensure each of our programs continue to thrive and help our entire community stay healthy and whole. In fact, along with personal, direct contact with our clients, (and the amazing food we have here!) this dedicated and inspirational staff is what I will miss most when I retire.

This has never been a job for me. Having the ability to change people’s lives in a Christian environment has always been a mission, MY Mission!

God Bless,



 

Herb Johnson

Join Us for Fall Graduation, Friday October 20

Join us at GraduationOne of our most beloved events happens every three months at the San Diego Rescue Mission.

Our next graduation ceremony is scheduled for Friday, October 20, 2017.

That’s when the men and women who have successfully completed their 12-month residential recovery programs are recognized in a special graduation ceremony. The event celebrates the accomplishments each graduate has made, with God’s help, during their year-long journey. Current program participants also attend to honor their brothers and sisters and to be inspired by the possibilities that await them.

As part of the ceremony one male and one female graduate each shares their story of recovery. A local Christian band or church choir provides entertainment for the day and, of course, all graduates receive an official diploma.

Time and Location:
First Presbyterian Church
320 Date St. San Diego, CA 92101
6:30 PM – Graduation Ceremony
Dessert Reception Immediately Following

For more information, please contact Michael Babida at mbabida@sdrescue.org or 619-819-1851.