Volunteers at the San Diego Rescue Mission are some of the warmest, kindest, most generous people we know.

Donate Your TimeOur volunteers provide valuable services to our clients. In return they receive the satisfaction of knowing they are personally helping homeless and poor people create positive, lasting change in their lives.

Please note that we are unable at this time to work with court-mandated volunteers.

Due to insurance restrictions, volunteers must be age 16 and older. Are you part of a youth group under this age? We welcome your help with donation drives for urgently needed material items and are very happy to provide a tour of the Mission so you can find out more about our work.

Current Volunteer Opportunities

Mother’s Day 5K

Come join us at DeAnza cove for the Mission Valley Sunset Rotary’s Mothers Day 5K. We’ll need volunteers beginning around 6:30 that morning to help with all aspects of set up. Great opportunity for individuals and groups and you should be done by 9:30 AM to enjoy the rest of the day! Would you rather walk or run? Please enter the 5K and support the Mission that way! For more information on volunteering, please email dkrakauer@sdrescue.org. For information or to register as a participant visit http://www.sdrescue.org/mothers-day-5k-may-11-2014/.

Group Projects

New group opportunity with Partners for Hunger Relief

Group of 5 needed every Thursday and Friday from 12 noon to 4PM at our warehouse to help with food distribution as part of our Partners for Hunger Relief Program. Must be comfortable with heavy lifting!

The San Diego Rescue Mission, in partnership with the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank, provides food items at no cost to nearly two dozen 501(c)3 nonprofits who operate hunger relief programs within San Diego County. A distribution to these partners takes place at the Rescue Mission’s City Heights warehouse on a weekly basis. The warehouse’s central location is easily accessible to many organizations who would not otherwise be able to frequently travel to the Food Bank’s warehouse in Miramar. This mutually beneficial relationship allows food to move quickly and efficiently from the Food Bank’s warehouse into the hands of the community.

Here are more ideas for your group

Groups (corporate, church, school and others) are always welcome to help with our meal service, assisting in the warehouse, and “deep-cleaning” our emergency shelter. Please call 619.819.1897 for other ideas or to schedule a specific date.

  • Groups of 6-8 are welcome to serve lunch or dinner here on site.
  • Larger groups can schedule weekday morning shifts in our warehouse.

Not able to start volunteering immediately? Host a Drive (Urgent Needs, Food, or Hygiene Kits): You can hold a drive and collect needed items at your school, church, place of employment, community center, or neighborhoods-it’s an easy and very significant way to support the Rescue Mission! Thank you for doing your part to help the men, women and children here at the Mission.

Volunteer Process for Individuals

All volunteers, with the exception of those participating in a special event or one-time group volunteer opportunity MUST attend a volunteer orientation and submit an application and go through an on-line background check process at an $18 cost to the individual. Orientations are held every-other month. The next orientation is in May. For non-food service opportunities we ask a 3-6 month commitment, interview, orientation, application and background check. Please call the Volunteer Coordinator to start the process.

Due to the large interest in our volunteer program, volunteer needs and opportunities change monthly and may include:

  • Nueva Vida Haven

    Assist with bed set up and handing out linens, clothing, hygiene items, 7:15PM – 8:30PM. Women only.

    Dinner service help needed between 6:30PM – 7:15PM, Friday or Saturday in particular.

  • Men’s Center

    Tutor 8th grade reading comprehension.

  • Aftercare

    Teach basic literacy for graduates challenged with reading and writing skills.