June 1955

June 1955

Arnold Thiesen leaves his position as superintendent of the Fresno Rescue Mission to start a much needed Rescue Mission in San Diego.

August 1955

August 1955

Called City Rescue Mission initially, the San Diego Rescue Mission’s first service is held at 428 G Street in a building that had been a poker parlor for the previous 25 years.

December 1955

December 1955

The Mission now serves over 1,500 hot meals a day and begins its first daily radio broadcast on KGB-AM 1360.

August 1956

August 1956

The mission offers its first weekly medical clinic.

November 1958

November 1958

The Mission moves into a new facility (formerly a hotel) located at 527 5th Avenue in downtown San Diego. Overnight shelter begins for men. One year later, the third floor was designated as a shelter for women and children – the city’s first!

Did You Know?

The huge neon cross on the front of the Mission’s new building cost $345. It was 8.5” tall by 5.5” Wide. The cross continually flashed “Jesus Saves.”

August 1960

August 1960

The Mission opens its newly renovated Dining Hall with capacity for 110…A whiskey bar was located in this same space prior to the renovations!

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

On Thanksgiving Day in 1961, the Mission hosted a “Mortgage Burning” ceremony to commemorate raising nearly $36,000 for the new facility.

April 1967

April 1967

Opening of the City Rescue Mission’s Goodwin Family Shelter at 14th and J Streets.

February 1968

February 1968

The Mission now feeds 5,000 men, women, and children each month.

May 1970

May 1970

135 Children have made use of the Goodwin playground facility during the last four Saturday afternoons. After playtime the children attend Bible Clubs, followed by ice cream, cookies and punch.

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

In 1970 the Mission went through more than 3 lbs. of coffee each day!

May 1973

May 1973

Construction begins on the conversion of the Mission’s 2nd Floor to an expanded Men’s Shelter to more than 60 beds. The center for Women and Children moves completely into the building at 14th and J Streets.

October 1975

October 1975

The Mission serves its one millionth free meal and has now provided nearly a quarter of a million nights of free lodging.

January 1978

January 1978

The Mission dedicates its brand new 300 seat Chapel, made possible through the purchase of an adjacent building with lot several years prior.

August 1980

August 1980

City Rescue Mission changes its name to San Diego Rescue Mission, citing confusion with the Mission being an agency of the City.

April 1984

April 1984

The Mission holds a ground breaking ceremony for a new 48,000 square foot facility at 1150 J Street.

1985

1985

The Mission begins its Food Recovery Ministry, now called Partners for Hunger Relief, to collect food from grocery stores, restaurants, caterers, and hotels that would otherwise be discarded.

June 1986

June 1986

The Mission dedicates the new J Street building. It includes a chapel, dining hall, men’s quarters, health clinic, recreation area, and library.

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

In 1991 Mrs. America Jill Scott visited the Mission and shared her testimony.

February 1992

February 1992

The San Diego City Council Issues a conditional use permit for a Women’s and Children’s Center at 936 South 16th St. There is no signage in order to protect our women and children.

June 1993

June 1993

The Rachel Grosvenor Center for Women and Children is opened.

July 1997

July 1997

The Mission opens a Central Receiving Center for the tons of goods donated each year. Within months it opens two thrift stores.

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

On January 25, 1998 fifty men from the San Diego Rescue Mission’s rehabilitation program participated in the Super Bowl held at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Their duties included breaking down and setting up the stage for the half-time festivities.

2000

2000

San Diego Rescue Mission opens Nueva Vida Haven (NVH) in response to the increasing need for emergency shelter services for homeless families. Each night, 60+ battered, homeless, or poor women and children, 12 and under, turn to the Mission as we are the only walk-in after hours shelter.

2004

2004

San Diego Rescue Mission consolidated all of its rehabilitation programs into the former Harbor View Medical Center at 120 Elm Street, doubling its capacity to help more people than ever.

September 2005

September 2005

The Mission celebrates 50 years of serving the least, last and lost and also dedicates the Elm Street building.

2006

2006

The Mission Opens its new Outpatient Therapy Center. This Psychotherapy Center is a free service to the community. Therapy is provided at no cost to individuals, families, children and couples to those who are homeless, at risk for homelessness or those who are unable to afford therapy.

September 2008

September 2008

A brand new playground is dedicated for the Mission’s Children.

June 2009

June 2009

The Rescue Mission opened the first non-VA recuperative care unit in the county providing 28 beds to homeless individuals who have been discharged from hospitals, but have on-going medical needs.

June 2014

June 2014

San Diego Rescue Mission opened a multi-phase Transitional Housing program for single men and women followed by a program for women with children in 2015.

September 2014

September 2014

As another step to offer a full continuum of services to clients, the Rescue Mission opened a preschool for the children of mothers staying in our emergency shelter, as well as, mothers in our year-long rehabilitation program. The school is licensed by the State of California.

2017

2017

In partnership with the San Diego Community College District the organization built upon its tradition of providing practical help with an even stronger emphasis on education as a means of improving clients’ employment opportunities post-graduation.