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.
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!
Before 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.
By 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 […]
By Donnie Dee I 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, […]
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. It wasn’t until San Diego Rescue Mission moved to a new building in Bankers Hill that the community took real notice. Shortly after […]
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It’s that time of year again – back to school. For most San Diego kids, it marks a time for new school clothes, shoes, backpacks, a fresh set of school supplies and a chance to reconnect with old buddies and meet some new ones. But for homeless kids, starting school comes with a whole set […]
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It is a challenge to find enough time to get things done. And often, when we hurry through our days, it’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day tasks and forget to look at the big picture. The big picture of why we are here, and doing what we do. This has been a year […]
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My brother is a two-tour Vietnam Vet. He was not drafted, he enlisted. He spent much of his deployment on the border or in Cambodia as a Helicopter Crew Chief and a Door Gunner. During his deployment, he was shot down five times. The 5th time, they sent him home. After arriving home, he proudly […]
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Wow, what a year it’s been! Because of your generous support in 2013, 1,522 women and 690 children were safe in our emergency shelter instead of being out on the cold, dangerous streets last year. We served over 448,000 hot, nutritious meals and I watched 87 men and 9 women graduate from our year- long […]
I read the following story during Friday’s Winter Graduation Ceremony. Since then, several people have requested that I post it to my blog. Here it is… Pastor Jeremiah Steepek The New Pastor Pastor Jeremiah Steepek (pictured right) transformed himself into a homeless person and went to his newly assigned church where he was to be […]
I love looking at old photos. The ones I’ve included in this blog post are some of our best memories from our annual holiday meals. These are truly wonderful reminders of all the great work you’ve made possible here at San Diego Rescue Mission during the past year. If you volunteer, you may find yourself […]
As we plan for our annual Candlelight Vigil, my thoughts turn to the homeless men, women and even children, who die alone on the streets each year here in San Diego. The lonely souls who, for whatever reason, lost touch with friends and family, and were not able to find a way to make a […]
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